• Tampa Parks and Rec Doubles Camp Programming

    by From staff reports February 2015

    Summer camp may seem but a dream to kids trying to stay warm this chilly week, but when it does come, there will be more of it available in Tampa.

  • Moving Rec, Aquatics One Option for YMCA Branch

    by SCOTT TAYLOR, Staff Writer February 2015

    The YMCA could swap its Turner Street location for a state-of-the-art aquatics and fitness center with room for 5,000 members in Lewiston's Bates Mill No. 5, according to a plan being put together by YMCA CEO Steven Wallace.

  • Park Board Vows to Fight Refurbishment of Ice Arena

    by Paula J. Owen, TELEGRAM GAZETTE STAFF February 2015

    The Board of Park Commissioners said it will take matters into its own hands to try to legally stop Fitchburg State University from demolishing the inside of the Landry Arena and refurbishing it into a non-ice skating facility if city officials do not take immediate action.

  • Growing Rec Sport Brings Soccer Skills to Golf Course

    by Aly Van Dyke. February 2015

    Forbes Field Golf Course in south Topeka is in the process of becoming accredited for Topeka's first, and the state's sixth, FootGolf course.

  • Hockey League’s No-Touch Policy Touches Off Debate

    by Emily Attwood February 2015

    A Toronto girls’ hockey league has drawn some attention this month, not because of its performance on the ice, but its policies related to player-coach interactions. 

    Following a complaint regarding a volunteer coach who congratulated a player by slapping her on the butt and squeezing her shoulders, the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association’s executive vice-president sent out an email to coaches with the following message: “Putting hands on shoulders, slapping butts, tapping them on the helmet, NOTHING, this can make some of the girls uncomfortable and you won’t know which ones, so no contact, period.”

    Following criticism from parents and a flurry of online commentary, the league issued a statement clarifying the league’s policy, stating that the email was only intended to remind coaches of the league’s existing policy, not replace it:

    “The issue about physical contact is a guideline only. Please know that we naturally understand that contact is part of the game. We also acknowledge that it is normal for volunteers to touch players in certain circumstances – e.g. helping with skates and helmets; assisting a young player on and off the bench; helping an injured player off the ice. The suggestion in the news media is that we have implemented a no contact policy. Please be assured that this is not the case.”

    League president Jennifer Smith went on to explain, "At no time did the TLGHA invoke a new policy. The section of the email about physical contact with players did not draw a clear enough distinction between hard and fast rules and guidelines. These are guidelines only."

    RELATED: No-Score Youth Sports Policies Gaining Popularity

    Still, the zero-tolerance position of the email touched off what many players and coaches feel is an important discussion about the roll of physical contact between players and coaches in sports. Reactions were mixed, with some feeling a no-contact policy went to far and others that it only made sense to discourage unnecessary contact between players and coaches. 

    “Obviously we’ve been taking steps ever since we’ve known that some bad things have happened to kids back in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Twenty-year hockey coach David Trombley told CTV Toronto. “Definitely we’re out here to protect the kids.”

    “I think it’s a real shame in a public situation on the bench that they’re not allowed to give a congratulatory tap,” said one parent. “I absolutely understand behind closed doors and in the locker room, but maybe on the bench and on the ice, it’s a different situation.”

    For Dave Cmar, president of Sun Parlour Female Hockey Association in Ontario, it’s a logistics issue. 

    “We wouldn’t have the resources to be at every arena, at every game,” he told The Windsor Star. “The difficulty would be in uniformly applying that.”

    Sports psychologist Kate Hays defended coach-player contact as an important aspect of player development, telling CBCNews, “It says, 'I'm paying attention to you, you've done a good job, I know you are really engaged, you are important to me, you are important to the team.'" 

    Perhaps more important, Hays says that it’s part of teaching children the difference between appropriate and inappropriate contact. "The idea of learning about non-sexualized, non-aggressive touch is something that indicates a positive connection among human beings.” 

    Should touching a player's shoulder be considered inappropriate contact for a coach?
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  • Opinion: Every LLWS Team Should Be Investigated

    by RICK MORRISSEY February 2015

    No Little League coach or official should have to take abuse for pointing out that another team might not have played by the rules.

  • Blue Jackets Alumni, Staff Hit Ice for Pick-Up Games

    by Shawn Mitchell, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH February 2015

    Barely five minutes into a game at Nationwide Arena last month, the energy began to lag on the home bench.

  • Club Volleyball Participation Continues to Spike

    by Debbie Juniewicz, Dayton Daily News (Ohio) February 2015

    From junior high rookies to collegiate hopefuls, club volleyball participation has become the rule, not the exception.

  • Youth Baseball League Without Field as Lease Talks Fail

    by Susan Sarkauskas February 2015

    Elburn Youth Baseball will lose the use of McNair Field in Blackberry Township this season as negotiations for a new lease have failed. Blackberry Township Supervisor Fred Dornback told the township board about this Tuesday. The township had leased the field, for $1 a year, on behalf of the baseball league.

  • Opinion: Youth Sports Are Not The Evil of Our Time

    by Chicago Daily Herald February 2015

    If you were exposed to enough coverage last week in the wake of the Jackie Robinson West scandal, you couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the demonization of sports. It's not the first time.