Law & Policy: Rules & Regulations
Girls' Basketball Teams Sanctioned for Tanking
by Daily News Journal February 2015
The TSSAA removed Riverdale and Smyrna from the high school girls basketball postseason on Monday following a report from a high school referee in charge of their District 7-AAA consolation game held Saturday where he said that both schools “played to lose the game.”
Opinion: Ineligible Freshmen? Don't See it Happening
by Dave Hickman February 2015
It's hard to find anyone these days with a truly sensible reason for why college football and basketball should consider returning to the days of freshman ineligibility.
Manslaughter Plea Entered in Soccer Ref's Death
by Laura Godlewski, Athletic Business Intern February 2015
A recreational soccer player in Michigan who was charged with punching a referee and killing him during a game has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Bassel Saad will serve eight to 15 years in prison as part of the deal and will plead either guilty or no contest to involuntary manslaughter, according to his lawyer, Cyril Hall.
Va. Bill Limiting Use of Fees for Sports Clears Hurdle
by The Virginian-Pilot(Norfolk, VA.) February 2015
A bill that would limit the amount of student fees the state's 15 public colleges could spend on college athletics was approved by the Senate Finance Committee 12-0 Wednesday.
Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling from Booster Clubs
by Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine) February 2015
A former Maine woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling from two youth sports organizations and to stealing state welfare benefits.
Report: Patriots Staffer Tried to Submit Unapproved Ball
by The Boston Herald February 2015
ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' reported last night that a Patriots locker room attendant tried to introduce an unapproved special teams football into last month's AFC Championship Game.
Virginia OKs Home-Schoolers for Public Varsity Teams
by THE WASHINGTON TIMES February 2015
After getting sacked for years by the Virginia legislature, the state Senate on Tuesday passed a version of the so-called "Tebow bill" to allow home-schooled children to participate in public school interscholastic sports, likely putting the issue before Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Editorial: Mitigate College Costs with Athletic Fees Cap
by Robert M. Davis February 2015
The recommendation to place a cap on the amount of fees that Virginia's institutions could collect was part of a large set of recommendations put forth by Virginia's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission and released in November.
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."
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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NHL's OT System: What's Point of Rewarding Defeat?
by AB Staff February 2015
The Blackhawks beat the Penguins 2-1 in a shootout Sunday, raising a familiar question. Why can't anyone explain the NHL's overtime point system in a way that makes sense.