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Upcoming Clinics!

CLINIC NAME CLINIC DATES
St Cloud State Huskies - Softball Semi-Private Clinic Sessions August 1, 2014 - March 8, 2015
Winter Softball Clinic - Sponsored by Burnsville Blaze   December 20, 2014
Indiana State Softball Clinic in Savage, MN   December 28, 2014
2015 S & C Holiday Classic Elite Juniors Fastpitch Clinic   December 29, 2014
2015 S&C Holiday Classic Elite Players Clinic   January 1, 2015
2015 S&C Holiday Classic College Showcase   January 2, 2015
National Sports Clinics - Coaches Clinic   January 16-17, 2015
St Benedict Advanced and Intermediate Pitching Clinics   January 17, 18, 24, 2015
St Benedict All-Skills Clinics   January 17, 24, 2014
SMSU Softball Skills Camp   January 18, 2015
St Kate's Hitting Clinic   January 23, 2014
St Kate's Defensive Clinic   January 24, 2014
University of North Dakota Winter Camps   January 24, 2014
NDSU Winter Clinic – Pitching, All Skills, and Slapping Clinic   January 24, 2015
SMSU Softball Prospect Camp   January 25, 2015
University of North Dakota Winter Camps   February 15, 2014
2015 Women Coaches Symposium   April 17, 2015
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New Bill in Kentucky Would Enhance Safety for Fast Pitch Softball Players

Members of the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly will be asked to toughen safety standards for girl's high school fast pitch softball. The proposed measure would require the pitcher, plus players at first and third base to wear protective masks.

The issue was discussed last week during a legislative meeting in Frankfort. Meade County Softball Coach Mike Harreld testified before the Interim Education Committee.

"It doesn't make sense to me that they made a rule that the batters had to wear a face mask because the pitchers were throwing 60 and 65 miles an hour and some of them were getting hit," said Harreld. "Yet, the ball is being hit back at these pitchers and corners at 100 to a 120 mile an hour."

Committee member Hubie Collins believes the Kentucky High School Athletic Association should act on the issue before it is considered by lawmakers.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says it is an important safety issue, and legislative action would help speed up the process.

"The 2014 meeting in the spring was the first time the national office has really considered the rule. But, for us, it's a little slower process," said Tackett. "This would accelerate it and being a safety issue, it's certainly something we should look at."

If passed, Coach Harreld believes the change would be accepted over time. "Just like batting, the first thing I heard was 'I can't see out of this thing, I can't see.' Pretty soon, that talk stopped, and nobody complains about it anymore," said Harreld.

Bill Sponsor Jeff Greer told the committee some girls object to wearing the mask in the field because of its appearance. Greer expects to file the bill during the 2015 session.

Source: WKU

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St Cloud State Univ to host Kelly Laas Memorial Invite

The Kelly Laas Memorial Invite NSIC/MIAA Crossover  will be held Thursday, February 19 through Sunday February 22, 2015 in the Husky Dome on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

 Teams Participating are Concordia-St. Paul, Emporia State, Central Missouri, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State Mankato, Missouri Western, Augustana College, UN-Kearney, Wayne State College, Fort Hays State.

Admission Prices

Pre-purchase your tickets now online at SCSUTickets.com

Adult: 4-Day Pass Purchased only Online at $30.00 (Savings $10)
Adult: Single Day Pass Online or at the Gate $10.00
K-12 4-Day Pass Purchased only Online at $10.00 (Savings $10)
K-12 Single Day Pass Online or at the Gate $5.00
SCSU Students FREE with Valid ID
5 and Under Free

Special Team Pricing is Available!

General Information and Game Schedule

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ESPN Poll: Most Parents Have Concerns about State of Youth Sports

A nationally representative survey of parents released Friday shows broad and often deep concern about the state of youth sports, on topics ranging from concussion risks to the costs of participation, though no issue drew more unease than the coaches who work with children.

More than eight in 10 parents with children old enough to play sports say they are concerned about the "quality or behavior" of youth coaches, with 61 percent calling it a "big concern," according to results from an ESPN Sports Poll of households conducted during the month of September.

At the request of espnW and the Aspen Institute's Sports & Society Program, the ESPN Sports Poll added a series of questions to its monthly panel that were specifically aimed at capturing the thoughts of parents and guardians of children age 18 and under, given falling participation rates in team sports among children and teens.

"There is a realization by parents that we have a significant problem on our hands," said Matthew Geschke, executive director of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, which funds community sport programs. "I think they understand now that the trajectory we're on is detrimental to their kids. They think these programs are expensive, they don't think there's any good coaching, they don't see kids having enough fun, and they think they're going to get hurt."

Among the findings of the espnW/Aspen Institute Project Play Survey of Parents:

  • Seven in 10 parents have concerns about the both the time commitments and rising costs of participation in youth sports, which has seen escalation of private club teams and multiseason travel squads. Just over three in 10 parents call these issues a major concern.

  • Two-thirds of parents say there's "too much emphasis on winning over having fun," with mothers and fathers sharing roughly equal concern.

  • More than 87 percent of parents worry about the risk of injury, with concussion cited as the injury of most concern. A quarter of all parents have considered keeping their children from playing a sport because of fears about head injuries.

  • By far, football is the sport that parents most worry about when it comes to concussion. Soccer is a distant second.

The survey shows that mothers are overall more concerned about the state of youth sports than fathers, in most categories. The only area where fathers have more concern is about youth coaching, and it's significant, with 85.2 percent registering some level of dissatisfaction.

"Parents need to demand better training of coaches, and they need to demand it of themselves," Geschke said. "If they're going to sign up to be volunteer coaches, they need to know what that word [coaching] means."

The survey was requested as a means of informing an Aspen Institute Project Play round table discussion on how to bring the voice of mothers into the decisions made within youth sports programs. Project Play is an initiative of the Sports & Society Program, a thought leadership exercise designed to identify ideas that stakeholders can use to get and keep children active through sports. The round table is Friday at the conclusion of the espnW: Women + Sports Summit in Dana Point, California.

Participation in team sports among children ages 6-12 has declined from 44.5 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2013, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, which conducts an annual survey of households to measure sport participation trends. Football has been beset with concerns related to concussions, but basketball, baseball and soccer, among other sports, have also seen double-digit declines in participation. Lacrosse and hockey have bucked the trend.

Mothers are more concerned about head injuries than fathers, according to the espnW/Aspen Institute Project Play survey. But 4 out of 10 fathers also identified it as their primary concern, higher than any other injury. The topic of concussion has been in the national conversation for several years, but has been magnified in the past week with the death of three high school football players -- in Alabama, North Carolina and New York -- possibly linked to football.

"Concussion is the injury du jour, but it's been a 10-year process of coming to consciousness about the risks," said Anita DeFrantz, president of the LA84 Foundation, which funds youth sports programs in Southern California. "There's this fear that parents have, and sometimes coaches do stupid things [in not mitigating concussion risks]."

In an effort to promote flag football as an alternative, the LA84 Foundation this year stopped funding youth football programs that sponsor tackle football for children before age 9. Of the 30 applications the foundation received, 20 programs were eliminated from consideration because of that grant criteria.

The overall sample of the ESPN Sports Poll was 1,511 Americans drawn by random sample, with data weighted by age, gender, race and income to match the overall characteristics of Americans 12 and older. From that sample, 21.3 percent were parents or guardians of children under 18 living in their homes (a total of 322 people with a general margin of error of 5.46 percent).

The survey shows that parents continue to see youth sports as a valuable institution, with more than eight in 10 saying they still allow their child to join a team. But to Geschke, the results serve as a warning shot that further participation declines lay ahead if issues, including rising costs, are not addressed. Nearly three in four mothers expressed concern about costs.

"I don't think the fathers are as worried about that because they're not holding the purchasing power to the checkbooks," Geschke said. "If you lose the mothers on that one, we're done."

Source: ESPN

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Media Coverage & Female Athletes


Trailer

The Tucker Center has won a 2014 Upper Midwest Emmy Award in the Sports Documentary category for its video "Media Coverage and Female Athletes," an evidence-based research project co-produced with tptMN.

Forty percent percent of all sports participants are female, yet women's sports receive only 4% of all sport media coverage and female athletes are much more likely than male athletes to be portrayed in sexually provocative poses.

To highlight why this matters and address these disparities, the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, in partnership with tptMN, have produced "Media Coverage and Female Athletes," a groundbreaking documentary that uses research-based information to examine the amount and type of coverage given to female athletes.

You won't want to miss hearing from expert scholars and award winning coaches and athletes who discuss this timely issue from a variety of perspectives, as they help dispel the common -- but untrue -- myths that no one is interested in women's sport and that "sex sells" women's sport.

Effective strategies are also discussed for increasing media coverage and creating images which reflect the reality of women's sports participation and why this is so important.

Watch the Full Video Here!

Source: The Tucker Center

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Small town softball player goes from small school to Boston College

When Ally Moore arrived as a student-athlete at Clayton High School three years ago, she had a bright future as a softball player.

Her mother, Tracy, is a physical education teacher and girls basketball coach at the school and her father, Joe -- who had coached her in ASA -- would become her head softball coach.

But Clayton is a small school with a softball program that has traditionally struggled to even reach .500, and her parents -- despite their attachment to Clayton -- gave her the option to go to another high school.

Next June, Ally Moore will graduate near the top of her 79-student class at Clayton High School. And on Thursday, she will become the first player in the program's history to sign a letter of intent to play Division I softball when she officially commits to Boston College.

"This is where I'm from," said Moore, who also plays field hockey and basketball. "My parents said I could do whatever I wanted, but this is where I grew up, these are the kids I'd always gone to school with. I wanted to stay and graduate from Clayton and say I accomplished everything here. I didn't want to do that anywhere else."

Her father and coach Joe noted receiving an offer from an Atlantic Coast Conference school with an academic reputation like Boston College shows as much for Clayton and Ally's dedication to education as it does her softball skills.

"She's gotten a great education and done very well in school," said Joe Moore. "Her hard work in the classroom has helped her with other endeavors, She's third in her class, president of student council, honor society, world language club. She's well-rounded.

"There were other opportunities for her, but we owned a house here in Clayton, she was born here in Clayton. We believed in the school system and believed the kids would get out what they put into it. She takes the best classes, has the right friends. There wasn't a need for her to go anywhere else."

All of the recruiting in softball is done at the ASA level, so Moore's performance with the New Jersey Intensity is what drew the attention of college coaches more than her play for the Clippers. But that still doesn't stop many kids from seeking a higher level of competition on the high school level.

Moore, who is already the school's all-time hits leader with 110, said she sometimes is frustrated by the team's record and performance but puts it all in perspective. The Clippers are 28-40 in her career, but they've improved every season.

"Sometimes it gets frustrating not playing at that (high) level, but I always look forward to high school ball," she said. "Travel ball is so competitive. It's 24-7. High school ball is a little more chill. I get to play with my friends, my sister (Kelli). The community is very supportive. Our athletic director, Dan Antonelli, is like my biggest fan."

Said Joe Moore: "It works out well for her, she likes playing with her high school team. She understands some of the kid's levels are not quite there. There's a lot of pressure on her. When she grounds out or drops a foul ball, people look at her like she shouldn't do that because she's going to Boston College. But you look at her numbers -- she has four strikeouts in three years, 110 hits -- I'd say she keeps up her end of bargain."

When people ask Ally Moore where she is from in her softball travels, she always tells them Clayton, then waits for the inevitable follow-up question.

"It's always 'Where?'" she said. "So then I tell them all the big names around us and tell them we're the baby school next door."

Ally Moore hopes she can be a role model for other up-and-coming Clayton athletes to let them know they can stay in town and achieve their goals.

"That's always been my thing, I help out with the little league team and try to be a role model for them," she said. "I'm proud to say I'm from Clayton. I stayed home and chased my dreams, and I did it."

Source: High School Sports - New Jersey

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New Wanamingo softball field takes shape

Construction of a new softball field has brought a striking change in appearance to the Kenyon-Wanamingo Elementary School grounds. The project recently began after months of planning and gathering bids for work.

Dave Rapp, owner of Rapp Surveying in Kenyon, surveyed the location and staked out dimensions of the new field. Zumbro Valley Landscaping of Wanamingo built a significant retaining wall, completed all excavating work, and hauled in red rock for the infield. On October 17, Tom Shane, owner of Shane Electric, trenched and ran electricity to the field, dugout, and future scoreboard locations. Project organizers said the field will be playable by the spring season, as long as enough funds are raised for the backstop and fencing to be installed.

The idea for the new ballfield came about last year when KW coach and teacher Kirby VanDeWalker started thinking of ways to build onto the baseball and softball programs. The softball program has the advantage of having both the varsity and junior varsity fields in close proximity to each another. However the JV baseball field is in Kenyon while the varsity baseball field is in Wanamingo. To bring the JV baseball field to Wanamingo, a new field needed to be constructed, and another field altered.

Currently, the JV softball team plays its home games on a field east of the elementary school, known as the "pool field" since it is north of the Wanamingo pool. This field would be turned into a JV baseball field, which is originally how it was used many years ago. VanDeWalker said, "Before we can return the pool field to the dimensions of a baseball field, the JV softball team needs a place to play, thus a new softball field is needed."

Having the junior varsity and varsity fields near each other offers major advantages. VanDeWalker said, "One advantage is the varsity coach has the ability to call on a JV player to play on the varsity if situations allow," such as during big leads or deficits. He added, "If the JV and varsity both have double-headers, it would allow for a player to play one game with the JV and one with the varsity." If the coach is not able to place the JV player into the varsity game, the athlete could easily return to the JV game to get some playing time.

Other advantages include:

  • It will also be easier for parents with players on different teams to catch both their children's games.
  • The JV teams can watch the end of the varsity games, to see the intensity of varsity competition and providing learning opportunities.
  • Adjacent fields would allow tournaments to be held in one location, rather than traveling between Wanamingo and and Kenyon.
  • Parking lots near all four fields make for easier accessibility for people of all ages to enjoy a game.
  • The fields will all be located near the elementary school for quick access if shelter is ever needed.

In summary, VanDeWalker said, "Having all four softball and baseball fields together makes it easier for parents, more convenient for opposing schools, provides many advantages for our baseball and softball programs, and makes it safer for all spectators and members of the teams."

Last year VanDeWalker and his father Larry proposed the idea of the new field to the KW School Board. The board gave its approval for the project, as long as no money from the district was used to cover the costs.

The total project cost is expected to be about $75,000. Fundraising will begin in the near future and donations are being accepted. They can be sent to the Wanamingo Community Fund, attention Ball Fields Project, PO Box 201, Wanamingo, MN 55983.

Source: Zumbrota News-Record

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Disability case challenges MN high school transfer rule

The Minnesota State High School League, the governing body of high school sports, is pretty strict about talented kids jumping from school to school. When a kid transfers, he/she has to sit out a year. Otherwise, high school athletics would become like the pros  --  "free agents" would be jumping from school to school.

Should it make a difference if the athlete has a disability?

That's the question the League is considering at the request of a family in Duluth, whose hockey-playing son transferred from Duluth Marshall  --  a private school  --  to Duluth Denfield, a public school.

Cam McClure and his family say he transferred because he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and could no longer focus on the 90-minute classes at the private school. The public school, with its shorter classes, will be easier, they say.

Last month, the MSHSL denied the request, presenting the problem. Cam is a senior and this is his last season playing high school sports; he can't sit out a year.

A hearing was held yesterday at the MSHSL headquarters and a judge had until Tuesday to decide, the Duluth News Tribune reports today.

Academically, the transfer seems to have worked. His his grade-point average was 3.75 in his first quarter at Denfeld. It had fallen to 2.0 at the private school. He also has an IEP, a tailored learning plan that makes accomodations for his disability.

"Kids who have to transfer from one school to another because of their disabilities cannot be penalized because of that disability-related transfer," the family's lawyer says.

The judge in the case has until Tuesday to decide.

Of course, there's another aspect to this. Rosters are limited to 20 players in high school hockey. What if you're the 20th kid on the roster and the transfer takes your spot at the last minute?

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

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