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New NFHS Officers, Board Members Elected

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 13, 2015) — Tom Welter, executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), is the new president of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for 2015-16. Welter, the 56th president of the NFHS, began his one-year term July 3 following the NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.    

Gary Musselman, executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the upcoming year.

In addition, the following individuals were approved by the NFHS National Council for four-year terms on the NFHS Board of Directors: Karissa Niehoff, Ed.D., executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC), Section 1; Ed Sheakley, executive director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA), Section 6; and Kevin Fitzgerald, Ed.D., superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District in Wyoming, Delaware, at large, Sections 2 and 6. Another new member of the Board of Directors is Bart Thompson, who has succeeded Eddie Bonine as executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) and as the Section 7 Board representative. Thompson’s term will end in 2018.

    Welter, a native of Oregon, joined the OSAA in 1995 as assistant executive director and was chosen executive director in 2001.

After graduating from Oregon State University in 1971, Welter taught in Whyalla, South Australia, for three years before returning to Oregon in 1974, where he began a 20-year term of service at Central Catholic High School in Portland. He began as a teacher and coach and was the school’s athletic director for 18 years and vice principal/dean of students for 15 years.

During his years at Central Catholic, Welter was president of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA) in 1990-91. In 2010, he received the OADA Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Oregon Athletic Coaches Distinguished Service Award. He also was honored by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) with the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 1993 and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Welter was inducted into the Central Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2005 and the OADA Hall of Fame in 2014.   

Among his previous service to the NFHS, Welter was a member of the Sanctioning Committee (1995-98), Football Rules Committee (1995-2004) and the Strategic Planning Committee (2008). He has made several presentations at the NFHS Summer Meeting, NFHS/NIAAA National Athletic Directors Conference and NFHS Legal Meeting.

    Musselman joined the KSHSAA staff in 1988 as assistant executive director, a position he held until being promoted to executive director in 1996. A graduate of Ness City (Kansas) High School, Musselman earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Kansas State University in 1974 and his master’s in secondary school administration from Wichita State University in 1987.

Musselman began his teaching and coaching career in 1974 at Independence (Kansas) Junior High School. He then held teaching and coaching positions at Andover (Kansas) Junior-Senior High School, Beloit (Kansas) Junior-Senior High School and Halstead (Kansas) High School. Prior to joining the KSHSAA staff, Musselman was the principal at LaCrosse (Kansas) High School. 

In addition to his current service on the Board of Directors, Musselman has served on numerous NFHS committees, including the Football Rules Committee, the Citizenship/Equity Committee, the Marketing Committee and the Appeal Board. Musselman served three terms as chair of the NFHS TARGET Committee (1992-95), which was involved with drug education/prevention programs. He was a member of three different NFHS Strategic Planning Committees, and he has been involved with other national organizations, including the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and United School Administrators of Kansas.

Last year, Musselman represented the NFHS Board of Directors on the NFHS Concussion Summit, which was appointed to develop recommendations for minimizing risk of concussion in sports and to develop best practices for schools and state high school associations. In June, Musselman completed six years of service on the Board of Directors of the NFHS Foundation. Musselman was elected chairman during the 2014-15 term and led a major reorganization and expansion of the Foundation Board and its governance structure.

   
    Niehoff was named deputy executive director of CAS-CIAC in July 2010 and assumed the executive director’s position in January 2011. She began her career in Connecticut public education in 1989 as a physical education instructor at Greenwich High School. In the succeeding years, she was a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal at the middle school and high school levels.  

Niehoff was a highly successful field hockey coach at Litchfield High School and Joel Barlow High School with four conference titles and one state championship. She has served on the United States Field Hockey Association Board of Ethics since 1996. Niehoff also coached high school volleyball, softball, basketball and track. In 2000, Niehoff was appointed assistant principal of Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington. Four years later, she assumed the position of principal of Lewis Mills High School, a post she held until joining the Connecticut association.

Niehoff served on the Education Committee of the United States Olympic Committee, authoring the “OlympiKids School Celebration Guide,” acting as U.S. delegate to International Olympic Academies in Greece and Canada, and representing the USOC at numerous national conventions, conferences and educational programs. She was co-founder and dean of the “Passing The Torch” Academy For Youth Sport Leadership, a USOC initiative to promote leadership and the spirit of Olympism within the realm of youth sport.

Prior to joining the Connecticut association, Niehoff served on numerous CAS and CIAC boards and committees, including the Field Hockey Committee, CIAC Board of Control and chair of the Sportsmanship Committee.


    Sheakley became executive director of the Oklahoma association in May 2009 after serving as interim executive director for one month. He was an assistant director with the OSSAA for 17 years before accepting his new position. During his tenure as assistant director, Sheakley was responsible for wrestling, slow-pitch softball, volleyball and academic bowl.

Before joining the OSSAA in 1992, Sheakley served as an administrator, educator and coach in Oklahoma’s Blackwell, Madill and Clinton school districts, including the roles of assistant principal and athletic director at Blackwell High School. Before moving to Oklahoma in 1982, Sheakley taught and coached in his home state of Iowa.

Among his previous involvement at the national level, Sheakley is a former member of the NFHS Equity Committee and NFHS Appeal Board.

Fitzgerald has been superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District since 2007 after seven years as assistant principal and nine years as principal at Caesar Rodney High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Frostburg State University (Maryland), his master’s from St. John’s College (Maryland) and his doctorate from the University of Delaware.


    Fitzgerald began his career in education in Maryland in 1978 as a social studies and English teacher. He also coached football, basketball and baseball, and was a high school athletic director and basketball official.

In 2002, Fitzgerald was recognized as Delaware’s Secondary Principal of the Year, and in 2013 he was selected as Delaware’s Superintendent of the Year. He is a former president of the Delaware Chief School Officers Association and chairman of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Thompson, who joined the NIAA as executive director effective July 1, has served as assistant director of the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) for the past eight years.


    Thompson’s responsibilities at the UHSAA included soccer, cross county, track, wrestling, and speech and debate. He also handled the association’s legislative issues and was the coordinator of sports medicine.

Prior to joining the UHSAA staff in the summer of 2007, Thompson coached football, wrestling and track for 22 years at Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah, after beginning his career in education as a teacher and coach at Clearfield (Utah) High School.

Thompson previously served on the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee, Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and Speech Committee.


Prep Football Squads Set to Report For 56th North-South All-Star Game

       North-South All-Star squads report Monday to begin preparation for the 56th All-Star Football Game set for Friday night, July 17 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
       Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network and will be broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network. Check www.ahsaa.com for more details.
      Both squads, comprised of 2015 seniors, were selected by a special coaches’ committee of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), said Alvin Briggs, the AHSADCA director.
      The teams will be housed on the campus of Auburn University-Montgomery. The North will practice at St. James High School and the South will practice at Trinity Presbyterian High School. AHSAA Hall of Fame coach Lamar Harris of Hubbertville is head coach for the North, and Carver-Montgomery’s Billy Gresham is head coach for the South.
      The game will be played the week prior to the 2015 AHSAA Summer Conference, which will be held July 21-25 at Montgomery’s Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. North-South all-star competition for baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball and volleyball will be held during the Summer Conference.
     
Harris became the head football coach at Class 1A Hubbertville in the fall of has been the head football coach at Hubbertville for 38 seasons -- beginning in 1979. His tenure at Hubbertville is one of the longest in Alabama high school football history. He has a 219-188 career record including 14-1 last season, best in school history. His team lost in the Class 1A state finals at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium to Maplesville in 2014. Twenty-five of his teams have advanced to the AHSAA state playoffs.
        Harris coached in the 1999 state North-South all-star football game. He was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association's Hall of Fame in 2002.
        One of the AHSAA’s most versatile coaches, Harris has also served as Hubbertville’s softball coach for 16 years with three state championships and a 403-135 record. He coached girls' basketball for 23 years and captured two state titles with an overall record of 293-170. His 24 boys' basketball teams have won four area crowns. |
        Gresham Billy Gresham will be entering his fifth season as head football coach this fall. He has compiled a record of 38-12 over the last four seasons. His teams have qualified for the playoffs every year, reaching the semifinals in 2012 and quarterfinals in 2013. Carver has won two region titles (2012 and 2014) under his reign. He served as defensive coordinator for three years at Carver before being named head coach in 2011. His overall record at Carver is 69-19 as defensive coordinator and head coach. His Wolverines will open the season versus Bob Jones in the 10th annual Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl Aug. 22.
        The South holds a 30-23-2 edge in the North-South series which began in 1948. The South won 20-12 last year.
        Five players have been added to the North roster since the team was announced in May, including Madison Academy offensive lineman John Crider, Oak Mountain linebacker Riley Fowler, Clay-Chalkville offensive lineman Tyon Hardy, Ranburne wide receiver Kyle Lovvorn and Pelham running back Morgan Sharp.
    Added to the South squad are Greenville wide receiver Raheem Moore, Hillcrest-Evergreen all-purpose athlete Keyshawn Roache and Notasulga linebacker Jason Williams.
      Coaches named to Gresham’s South staff are Deric Scott of Vigor, Nathan McDaniel of Baldwin County, Pate Harrison of Dale County, Ashley Kilcrease of Brantley, Maurice Heard of B.T. Washington, Tim Perry of Wetumpka and Michael Summers of Alabama Christian, who will serve as administrative coach.
      Named to the Harris’ North staff are Mark Hastings of Oakman, Scott Mansell of Hueytown, Larry Strain of Handley, Jason Howard of Spring Garden, Danny Miller of Hanceville, Mike Bates of Holly Pond and Darby Palmer of Alabama Christian, the North administrative coach.
      The AHSADCA operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Membership includes coaches of all AHSAA sports as well as administrators of member schools.

        All North-South rosters can be found at www.ahsaa.com at the following link: 
http://www.ahsaa.com/Coaches-ADs/AHSADCA/All-Star-Sports-Weeks/2015-All-Star-Games

The NFHS Network will live-stream all six North-South all-star competitions.

The complete 2015 North-South all-star schedule is listed below:
North-South Football                         July 17, Cramton Bowl, 7 p.m.
North-South Baseball                        July 21, Riverwalk Stadium. 4 p.m. (2 games)
North-South Softball                         July 21, Lagoon Park, 5 p.m. (2 games)
North-South Girls Soccer                  July 21, Emory Folmar Soccer Complex, 5 p.m.
North-South Boys Soccer                 July 21, Emory Folmar Soccer Complex, 7 p.m.
North-South Girls Basketball            July 22, Dunn-Oliver Acadome, 6 p.m.
North-South Boys Basketball           July 22, Dunn-Oliver Acadome, 8 p.m.
North-South Volleyball                      July 23, Cramton Bowl Multiplex, 4 p.m.

NORTH-SOUTH FOOTBALL ALL-STAR
CLASSIC YEAR-BY-YEAR (1948-2014)

(Overall Series: South leads 30-23-2)


At Cramton Bowl, Montgomery
2014—South 20, North 12

2013—South 22, North 21

2012—North 34, South 12
2010—North 14, South 7

2011—South 37, North 33

Alabama A&M, Huntsville

2010—North 14, South 7

2009—North 14, South 7

2008—South 12, North 0

2007—South 10, North 0

At Troy University

2005—(December) – South 16, North 7

2004— (December) – North 7, South 3

At All-Star Sports Week

Cramton Bowl, Montgomery

2004—North 17, South 7

2003—South 17, North 10

2002—South 34, North 0

2001—North 6, South 3

2000—North 17, South 0

1999—South 10, North 7

1998—South 21, North 0

1997—South 14, North 0

At Auburn

Jordan-Hare Stadium

1984—North 21, South 20 (1A-2A)

At Tuscaloosa

Bryant-Denny Stadium

1984—South 7, North 6 (3A-4A)

1983—South 34, North 7

1982—North 3, South 0

1981—North 14, South 6

1980—South 20, North 7

1979—South 3, North 0

1978—South 21, North 14

1977—South 17, North 7

1976—South 14, North 6

1975—North 7, South 6

1973—North 22, South 15

1972—South 14, North 13

1971—North 9, South 7

1970—South 13, North 9

1969—South 16, North 0

1968—South 27, North 7

1967—South 14, North 10

1966—North 13, South 7

1965—North 13, South 6

1964—South 34, North 7

1963—North 20, South 6

1962—South 20, North 14

1961—South 13, North 0

1960—North 7, South 0

1959—North 10, South 7

1958—South 20, North 6

1957—North 12, South 7

1956—South 0, North 0 (tie)

1955—North 26, South 7

1954—North 7, South 6

1953—South 26, North 0

1952—North 7, South 7 (tie)

1951—South 31, North 0

1950—South 12, North 7

1949—North 7, South 6

1948—North 33, South 0


Rules Changes Approved for High School Track and Field, Cross Country

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Beginning with the 2016 high school track and field season, the head starter (or designee), rather than the implement inspector, shall inspect all starting blocks used in the running events.

The addition of Article 4 to Rule 3-6 was one of eight changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“The committee did significant work in cleaning up some confusion regarding trials and passes by expanding terms contained in definitions,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee. “Likewise, changes were made to include the use of flags in field events and update cross country rules to reflect the current trends in the sport.”

Rules 6-1-1 through 5 were amended to expand and clarify the definitions for trials/attempts in throwing events. Rule 6-2-9 concerning a competitor’s initiation of a trial was consequently affected by the change. Similar revisions were made to Rules 7-1-1 through 7 and Rule 7-2-12 so the same clarification and expansion of definitions apply.

Other significant track and field rules changes included the revision of Rule 3-10-7. The rule now states that “the head event judge may be equipped with both a white and red flag” to signal whether a throwing attempt is fair or foul. The change will allow for more efficient administration of field events and for improved communication between officials, coaches and fans, Oakes said.

In cross country, Rule 9-3-3 was revised to recommend the use of a video or photograph to verify the order of finish in races in which the timing system indicates a differential of one-tenth of a second or less. Having the video as a back-up and a process in place for problems that may arise from the use of a computerized transponder/chip system is a good solution, Oakes said.

Added to Rule 9-3 is the recommendation of a finish corral at cross country meets where transponders are used for the order of finish.

Other changes to cross country included an addition to Rule 9-1-3, which now allows the use of double painted boundary lines and/or natural or artificial boundary markers as an alternative method to mark the course for both runners and spectators.

The remaining changes to track and field concern equipment standards. Rule 6-5-2 was added, specifying the maximum allowed diameter for indoor shot put to account for the synthetic cover that is not present on the outdoor implement. Rule 6-6-1 was revised to allow for the use of newer javelin materials such as carbon fiber. Finally, Rule 7-6-3 was altered to recommend that the takeoff board for long jump and triple jump be eight inches wide, but still allow for larger boards.

Track and field is the second-most popular sport for boys with 580,321 participants in 16,271 schools and is the No. 1 sport for girls with 478,885 participants in 16,217 schools during the 2013-14 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. Cross country is the seventh-most popular sport for boys with 252,547 participants in 14,473 schools and is the sixth-most popular sport for girls with 218,121 participants in 14,267 schools.


Rules Changes Approved for High School Baseball, Softball

            INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Rules changes for the 2016 baseball and softball seasons were made at rules committee meetings last month in Indianapolis. Those changes were subsequently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors.

BASEBALL

Beginning with the 2016 season, umpires will be required to issue a warning to coaches before restriction to the bench/dugout or ejecting them as part of a new penalty progression to promote preventive officiating.  

The revision to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty was one of two changes recommended by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee at its June 7-9 meeting.

Previously, issuing a warning to an offending coach was optional for umpires, who will now restrict to the bench/dugout or eject coaches who commit a violation after previously being warned for a minor offense. However, coaches can still be ejected on a first offense if it is deemed to be major.

Also part of the modification to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty, coaches who receive a written warning (Rule 10-2-3) will be restricted to the bench and/or dugout for the remainder of the game.

 “The new rule change has initiated a penalty progression, starting with a written warning, restriction to the bench/dugout and subsequent ejection from the contest,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee.

The changes to Rule 3-3-1 Penalty will help to de-escalate contentious situations and allow coaches to dictate their status in the game by their behavior, Hopkins said.

“A successful game official practices preventive officiating, and this new penalty progression will allow the official to issue penalties that give the coach the opportunity to remain in the game and teach his players.”

The other change approved by the Baseball Rules Committee is an addition to Rule 3-3-1. Article “q” will state that a coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not “have any physical contact, spitting, kicking of dirt or any other physical action directed toward an umpire.” The addition of article “q” serves to clarify other behaviors that would result in an ejection from the game, Hopkins said.

“Bad behavior that is being imitated from other levels has no place in education-based athletics and will not be tolerated,” Hopkins said. “If we are to continue to use sport to teach life lessons, then we have to ensure that appropriate behavior and conduct are modeled from those adults in the role of coach/teacher.”

In addition to the two rules changes, the Baseball Rules Committee approved three Points of Emphasis for the 2016 season. Points of emphasis are developed by NFHS rules committees and should receive special focus and attention by officials, coaches, players, fans and other leaders within the high school setting.

Points of Emphasis developed by the Baseball Rules Committee for the 2016 season are as follows:

 

 

  1. INTERMEDIATE PENALTIES/RESTRICTION TO THE BENCH/DUGOUT
  2. PROPER CATCHER’S EQUIPMENT
  3. SPORTSMANSHIP – CELEBRATIONS AROUND OR NEAR THE PLATE AND POST-GAME EJECTIONS

 

SOFTBALL

In softball, one rule change was recommended by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting. In the new Article 4 of Rule 2-57, the committee provided a standard definition of a “projected” substitute.

Rule 3-3-3 prohibits the use of a projected substitute, which is now defined in the new article as “a player who does not immediately participate in the game.”

“There has been some confusion among both officials and coaches about substitution procedure,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials education and liaison to the Softball Rules Committee. “Therefore, the committee felt it was necessary to clear up that process and provide coaches and officials with a standard definition of a projected substitute.”

            The following Points of Emphasis were approved by the Softball Rules Committee:

  1. STRIKE ZONE (FP)
  2. DP/FLEX EDUCATION
  3. PITCHING (FP)

 

According to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey, baseball is the fourth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 482,629 participants in 15,789 schools. Fast-pitch softball is the fifth-most popular sport for girls with 364,297 participants in 15,225 schools during the 2013-14 season.


AHSAA Assistant Director Wanda Gilliland Receives NFHS Citation at 96th Summer Meeting at New Orleans

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 1, 2015) — Wanda Gilliland, assistant director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, is among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.

      She received the award at a special luncheon held at the 2015 the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans Wednesday.  An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.

      “I know of no one who is more deserving than Wanda Gilliland,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “She is dedicated, loyal and a tireless servant who loves the AHSAA and its mission. We are very proud of her and are elated she is being recognized by the NFHS for her many contributions.”
      Ms. Gilliland has been an assistant director with the AHSAA since 1996. A graduate of Marion County High School and Athens State College, she served as a teacher and coach/athletic director at Hamilton High School from 1979-1996 where her girls’ basketball teams compiled a 301-96 record, won a state championship in 1990, finished runner-up the next year and won the Marion County tournament seven times.
       She has played a key role in the development of state championship programs in volleyball, softball, basketball and cross country. She has helped govern eligibility requirements through involvement with school audits, investigations and foreign exchange student regulations.
      Gilliland has received several coach-of-the-year honors and has served on the NFHS basketball, softball and spirit rules committees. She currently chairs the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. She was inducted into AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
       Gilliland, the Section 3 recipient, becomes the sixth Alabama recipient of the prestigious NFHS Citation Award since its inception in 1987. Past recipients include Ken Blankenship (Coaches Citation) in 2000, Greg Brewer (Section 3) in 2006, Houston Young (Officials Citation), 2010, Alan Mitchell (Section 3) in 2012, and Jeff Hilyer (Officials Citation) in 2014.
      E
ight Citation honorees, one from each of the NFHS member-school districts, are recognized annually as well as four other Citation recipients representing NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.
        The other state association recipients for 2015 were Pat Corbin, Section 1, retired executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association; Butch Powell, Section 2, assistant executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; Scott Johnson, Section 4, assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association; Cheryl Gleason, Section 5, assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association; Amy Cassell, Section 6, assistant director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association; Dwight Toyama, Section 7, former executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association and the Oahu Interscholastic Association; and John Billetz, Section 8, retired executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association.
        Other Citation recipients at Wednesday’s awards luncheon were James Coon, Officials  Citation recipient, volleyball official, Pittsboro, Indiana; Milt Bassett, Coach Citation recipient, executive director, Oklahoma Coaches Association, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jean Ney, Music Citation recipient, retired coordinator of fine arts, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Bonner Springs, Kansas; and Darrel Harbaugh, Speech/Debate/Theatre Citation recipient, retired director of debate and forensics, Field Kindley Memorial High School, Coffeyville, Kansas.
        Missouri State High School Activities Association legal counsel Mallory Mayse was also presented the NFHS Award of Merit for his contributions over the last 40 years to the NFHS and MSHSAA concerning legal issues.   The award, while not presented annually, has recognized 42 individuals since 1966 including former President Gerald Ford (1983) and former AHSAA Executive Director Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1992).
         The NFHS American Tradition Award was also presented to Varsity Spirit, a company dedicated to spirit and cheer participation.  Varsity Spirit became just the eighth recipient of the award since 1985.