June 2017
Umps Have Had It!

Rob Brown couldn’t believe his ears as he stood behind home plate. Brown, the chief umpire for Little League for the majority of the Treasure Valley of Idaho, had just called a third strike on a young batter. The boy turned to Brown and gave his two cents.

“What, are we golfing here?”

A lesser man might have been angry. Brown took the high road and smiled.

“This kid is 11 years old,” Brown said.

The days of silence and compliance are over. Talking back is back. And officials have had enough.

Referee and umpire numbers are declining across the country. Only two of every 10 continues officiating into their third year, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. And the trend is not isolated to urban areas of the country.

June 2017
"Coach of the Year" Quits Over Parental Interference

Clayton Castor was the boys basketball coach at Gladstone High School in Michigan, and last season he was named the U.P. Class ABC Coach of the Year.  In April, he submitted his resignation, citing a number of reasons - mainly parents - for his decision.


May 2017
Spirit of Sports Award Winners Announced

Danny Lilya was born with a broken back and is a paraplegic. Confined to a wheel chair his entire life, Lilya has not allowed it to stop him from enjoying sports that he loves and being named the 2017 national winner of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) "Spirit of Sport Award."

The "National High School Spirit of Sport Award" was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.

Lilya was one of eight regional honorees selected.





April 2017
First Female FB Scholarship a Sign of the Times?

There have been perhaps a dozen women who have played college football, but none of them who played for NCAA-affiliated programs were on scholarship. That changed last week when Becca Longo became the first female to earn a scholarship in an NCAA Division I or II football program.  The Arizona high school kicker has signed a letter of intent with Division II Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado.

Football has taken some hits in popularity and participation in recent years, due mostly to concussion concerns. The popularity of the sport among women, however, has been on a strong rising trend and that includes participation.  The number of women participating in the sport has increased over 150% in the past 17 years.

To learn more about the growing popularity of football among women, view this infographic produced by Ohio University.

March 2017
Getting Non-Athletes Out for Sports

High participation numbers are always a goal that high schools have when it comes to their extra-curricular programs. In some cases that may require getting non-athletes engaged enough to turn out for an athletic experience.  The value of a strong support from the school's general student body is credited with encouraging more students getting involved in sports.  How do you get that involvement?


March 2017
Women Celebrate “When I Play”

March is Women's History Month and March 8 is International Women's Day. ESPNw has put together a short film that directly and unapologetically celebrates women who see their athleticism as a way to find themselves and embrace their power.  "When I Play"


March 2017
New Rule May Allow Arizona HS Coaches to Fight Back

The Arizona Interscholastic Association which governs high school sports in the state of Arizona, has voted to permit the state’s high school coaches to operate unlimited year-round practices.

That may mean that high school coaches can now fight back when for-profit AAU clubs poach elite players in attempt to turn them into off-campus, one-sport specialists.

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