Programming: High School
N.C. High Schools Hope to Meet Title IX Standards with Stunt
by Andrew Brandt June 2014
In 2010, the Office of Civil Rights deemed that both traditional and competitive cheerleading did not meet the requirements of Title IX to be considered sports.
The sport called stunt, a cross between gymnastics and competitive cheerleading, has been constructed to meet those standards.
According to The State, stunt will begin making waves across Wake County, N.C. high schools next spring. The sport will consist of both regular head-to-head matches and competitions, which will be divided into four parts: partner stunts, pyramids and tosses, group jumps and tumbling and team performance.
By beginning in the spring, stunt won’t have to jockey for gym time with existing sports like basketball and volleyball. And like diving, stunt scores will be determined by mastery. Rather than create new moves, participants are required to perfect particular routines.
Wake County will be the first in the state to offer stunt as a competitive sport, and their hope that it introduces more girls to interscholastic athletics is a promising one. “There is a tremendous amount of interest in it,” said Darren Coe, the Wake County Schools senior administrator for athletics.
Previously, Wake County didn’t have a high enough percentage of girls competing to meet Title IX standards. And the North Carolina High School Athletic Association currently hosts championships in 11 sports for boys—and only 10 for girls.
If stunt raises enough interest, however, it could very well become sport number 11 for girls. Here’s to hoping stunt becomes something greater than its name suggests.
Parent Behavior, Cyberbullying Hurting High School Sportsmanship
by June 2014
It is widely acknowledged that the role of high school athletics is to promote life-skills education through sports, but lately a key life skill in this equation — sportsmanship — has deteriorated on the interscholastic level to the point that one high school athletic association recently considered banning the time-honored post-game handshake.
AD, Coaches Fired in High School Recruiting Scandal
by Michael Gaio June 2014
An ugly scandal in the Dallas Independent School District is coming to a close with the firings of the district's athletic director, two top basketball coaches and 12 others.
Common Mistakes Made by High School Athletic Directors
by Kevin Bryant April 2014
It would not be difficult for any honest interscholastic athletic administrator to fill up a page or two about the mistakes he or she has made and would like to avoid in the future. I've been there myself as a former athletic administrator. Reflecting on my own experiences (and mistakes), I'd like to offer a series of tips that will not only benefit novice athletic administrators, but veteran administrators, as well.
HS Baseball Player with Rare Disease Deemed Eligible
by March 2014
Competing in sports at the high school level is no easy feat, but for one Louisiana high school student becoming eligible to compete has been a challenge in itself.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association ruled that 18-year-old Sean Thiel was ineligible to participate in spring baseball this season after missing too many days of school. The absences were caused by a rare medical condition from which Thiel suffers known as achalasia. The disease affects the esophagus’s ability to move food to the stomach, which led to a number of absences — including a surgery at the Mayo Clinic to stabilize his condition in early March.
According to The Advocate, after filing a federal suit against the LHSAA March 3, Thiel was finally granted a hardship waiver that allowed him to begin playing earlier this month.
"I commend the LHSAA for taking another look at this. We have no ill will. We're just happy they re-evaluated the situation," Michael Thiel told The Advocate Friday. "It is a positive story for a change. It's the right result.”
"It reinforces your faith in humanity."
Hardship waivers are used in high school sports to help make a student eligible for competition if he has a condition that causes him to not meet the requirements for eligibility. As a part of the lawsuit that brought Thiel’s situation to the LHSAA’s attention, Thiel’s family claimed that the LHSAA had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by not allowing Thiel to play baseball even though he met the requirements for a hardship waiver.
After Thiel became eligible to play, Thiel’s family dropped the suit March 18.
As part of the agreement with the LHSAA, Thiel — a high school sophomore — must meet all future eligibility requirements if he wishes to continue playing high school sports in his junior and senior seasons.
Thiel’s father told The Advocate his son has already recorded a couple of hits in two games since his reinstatement on the team.
Transgender Students Allowed to Play, Homeschoolers Benched in Virginia
by Michael Gaio February 2014
It was a big news week for high school athletes in Virginia.
High School Athletic Trainers Key in Concussion Management
by Dennis Van Milligen February 2014
Spring Hill (Kan.) High School senior Nathan Stiles had just scored a 65-yard touchdown when he began grasping his helmet and screaming that his head hurt. He collapsed near his team’s sideline and died just days before his 18th birthday. He died of a brain hemorrhage, which doctors determined was caused by a concussion one month earlier. His autopsy revealed Stiles had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease commonly associated with retired football players and boxers.
Youth Participation in Team Sports on the Decline
by Michael Gaio February 2014
The Wall Street Journal recently published a lengthy article detailing the drop in participation in the four most-popular U.S. team sports — basketball, soccer, baseball and football. The results are not pretty. The author examined data from youth leagues, school sports groups and industry associations from 2008 to 2012.
Club Sports Pushing Athletes Away From High School
by Dennis Van Milligen January 2014
Club sports were once revered nationwide by high schools for helping enhance the young athlete and preparing him or her for the more competitive high school environment. But various factors have played a role in transforming club sports from high school athletics supporter to slayer, forcing one high school athletic director to admit, "I think we might see a time when high school sports don't exist and club sports completely replace it."
Blog: Prioritizing The Student-Athlete a Must for ADs
by January 2014
Since I have been a member of the AB team, I have had the fortunate opportunity to chronicle the challenges high school athletic administrators are facing in today's high-pressure, win-at-all-costs environment. We hear about all the steps that are being taken to protect the student-athlete from a physical standpoint, but what about from an emotional and psychological standpoint?