Online tool created for teen refs to report abuse
The Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) has introduced a new online tool aimed at helping young referees deal with verbal abuse.
Kelly Boes, executive director of the SMHA, is optimistic their new measures will work to combat the problem before it gets worse.
"We're excited for the opportunity to deal with things when they're smaller as opposed to when they are bigger," Boes said.
The Saskatoon Referees Association's (SRA) saw a decline in numbers of minor hockey referees this year. They had over 200 last year and now have 160 this year.
SRA executives said it is particularly hard to retain new, minor hockey referees between the ages of 13 and 15 because they are often not equipped to defend against verbal abuse from coaches, parents and players.The SRA said that one of the prominent reasons for their falling numbers is "abuse of officials."
Consequently, the SRA is struggling to keep minor hockey games in Saskatoon and across the province properly staffed with officials.
Finding a solution
Executive members of the SRA and SMHA met on November 18 to discuss the problem.
Their solution is a web-based, complaint form for young officials to use to document and submit grievances against coaches.
"As opposed to waiting for something to happen on the ice -- where there's a game misconduct given to a coach and usually by then the coach has crossed the line
-- we want to deal with things before they get to that point," Boes said.
"So we've given the officials the opportunity to do a coaching evaluation
online, that is then submitted to Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association, which will
then go back to coaches themselves, as feedback, right from their zone
The online tool is an extension of an existing online evaluation tool on SMHA's website, originally intended for the evaluation of officials.
Now the digital complaint form contains a new portion for the evaluation of coaches and team officials.
Boes said the SRA and SMHA are taking the problem seriously. They plan to monitor and follow up on the complaints against coaches and parents as they are reported.
"The worst case scenario for any coach if they are abusive to officials is going to be removal from the bench, and they will essentially be asked not to coach anymore," Boes said.
Editors Note: Would it work in softball?
Should officials report abuse of athletes by coaches? Abuse of officials
by coaches? By parents / fans?
Temple Univ drops Softball and Six Other Sports
Temple University announced today that it will reduce the number of its intercollegiate athletic programs by seven, effective July 1, 2014. The action will mean a better and more sustainable experience for its remaining student-athletes and bring Temple into line with most other schools in The American Athletic Conference.
Affected by the action are baseball, men's crew, men's gymnastics, men's outdoor track & field and men's indoor track & field; as well as two women's sports: softball and rowing. The action brings Temple's total from 24 to 17 varsity sports. Members of The American field between 16 and 19 varsity sports, except for the University of Connecticut, which has 24.
The decision is the result of a seven-month detailed analysis of Temple's athletics situation. The analysis looked at the Athletics budget and its ongoing expectations for support; the facilities currently being used and how much it would cost to upgrade them; a detailed comparison with other universities in the American Athletic Conference; and comparisons with other institutions of higher education similar to Temple.
Temple's mission is to provide its student-athletes with the high quality experience they deserve, but with the rising costs of doing business in intercollegiate athletics it has become impossible to achieve that mission for 24 varsity programs, said Temple Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin Clark. With limited funds and growing needs, this was a difficult choice that had to be made, he said.
"Temple does not have the resources to equip, staff, and provide a positive competitive experience for 24 varsity sports. Continuing this model does a disservice to our student-athletes," explained Clark. "We need to have the right-sized program to create a sustainable model for Temple University Athletics moving forward."
With operating costs rising, University budgets tightening and a growing need to improve or replace outdated Olympic facilities, this difficult decision was inevitable, Clark said.
"Reducing the number of sports will mean Athletics can invest more into the student-athletes, staff and facilities for the remaining Olympic sports, and offer the best possible learning and competitive environment," said Clark.
Clark said the decision was being announced now to give student-athletes as much time as possible to consider their options and plan their next steps. The university has granted blanket written permission for coaches from other institutions to contact student-athletes about transfers. Temple will help students transfer their credits and eligibility if they choose to compete at another university.
"This is one of the hardest things I have had to do as an athletic administrator, as it impacts the lives of our student-athletes as well as members of our staff. However, this was an action that needed to be taken for the betterment of Temple Athletics. We all felt this decision needed to become public now, so that our student-athletes can complete the fall semester, go home and discuss their future with their families over the winter break," said Clark.
"Our first concern, now and in the future, is the academic and athletic experience of our student-athletes," Clark said. "We will work with those affected by this decision to ensure their success either here at Temple or at other universities."
Temple remains committed to the success of all student-athletes in these sports, and the university will honor its agreement with those student-athletes who have athletic scholarships, he said. In addition, all impacted student-athletes will have the full use of the Nancy and Donald Resnick Academic Support Center to ensure continued success in the classroom.
The recommendation was made by the Vice President and Director of Athletics and approved by President Neil D. Theobald and the Board of Trustees. Theobald, a long-time sports enthusiast, said the decision was not an easy one.
"Temple's student-athletes are extraordinary ambassadors for the university," said President Theobald. "This is an extremely difficult decision, but it is being done in the best long-term interests of our student-athletes."
The president noted that tightening budgets have resulted in unpopular decisions across the university, with cuts of more than $113 million in operations support in recent years.
In total, there are approximately 150 student-athletes in the seven sports directly impacted by the decision. Nine full-time coaching positions are also affected.
Hayfield's Wagner to play softball for Gophers
Hayfield senior Dani Wagner has signed a letter of intent to play softball at the University of Minnesota.
Wagner, a catcher, batted .603 as a junior with five home runs, six doubles, five triples and 25 RBIs while being named to the All-Hiawatha Valley League team for the fourth time in her career.
Wagner, who has been named all-state three times, was one of six players signed by the Gophers, who went 36-19 during the 2012 season and earned an NCAA berth before falling in the region tournament.
"Dani is as athletic as they come," Gophers coach Jessica Allister said in a press release. "She is a three-sport athlete who we think is really going to blossom in a year round training program. Dani is another versatile player that could help us at a number of positions."
Wagner also plays club softball for the 18U Mankato Peppers and is a four-time letterwinner in both volleyball and basketball. She was an all-state volleyball player in 2012.
Rochester Post Bulletin
Rochester Chosen to Host 2015 Northern Nationals
by Ben Boldt, Rochester Post Bulletin
I recently returned from the Amateur Softball Association's annual council
meeting. It was a great trip for the Sports Commission and Rochester. We were
selected to host a 2015 ASA Fastpitch Northern National tournament. We were also
given an Award of Excellence for the ASA fastpitch tournament that we held in
The council meeting also features an expo where attendees can
learn more about cities bidding for the national tournaments as well as vendors
that offer every type of softball and field equipment that a team or association
could ever need. But the most interesting part of the council meeting to me is
their decision-making process.
For the first few days the members hold
committee meetings where they review all aspects of their game including playing
rules, ASA code guidelines, equipment standards, etc. Then the entire group of
more than 200 members comes together and votes on those recommendations. It's
the most democratic system in a sport's governing body that I'm aware of.
Sure, the majority of the recommendations are approved without much
discussion, but there are always a few items that were hotly contested in
committee and continue to be debated right up until the vote.
council also votes on national tournament placement and the election of the ASA
council president. It's an interesting day of decision-making that impacts how
ASA does business and plays its game for the next year.
also a big part of the ASA council meeting. It's a good opportunity to reconnect
with the ASA council members from the Northern Territory (the 12-state area that
Minnesota belongs to) and the rest of the country.
We try to bring home
ideas that they share for making our tournaments and local leagues and
associations more successful. While at the meetings this year, we discussed the
idea of Rochester holding an ASA senior national tournament in 2015.
event has been in Oregon the last few years and team participation has not been
pretty low. There are several quality senior teams in the Midwest and Rochester
has a great senior softball organization in place.
There are a lot of
factors to consider when taking on a new venture like this so we are reviewing
those now to see how viable the tournament would be. But it is exciting to
consider new events that are good for Rochester and good for the national
Rochester has been very fortunate to host several ASA
national tournaments and we have developed a good relationship with ASA and the
council members in our area. We look forward to continuing that positive
relationship for years to come.
Rochester Post Bulletin
National Sports Clinics - National Coaching Clinic Returning to Minneapolis
National Sports Clinics are excited to offer you the opportunity to attend the National Softball Coaches Clinic! As many of you know,
NSC conducts National Softball Coaches Clinics across the nation each year.
All of the clinics offer the finest instruction available to coaches at all levels and
the commitment to the clinics hasn't changed since the beginning, more than 20 years ago.
The clinics are held in a relaxed, fun environment that allows the participants to learn from the very best coaches, players and clinicians in the world.
The clinics are widely recognized as the very best in the U.S. thanks to the commitment and dedication of our extraordinary instructors.
There will be two days of instruction, softball exhibits, a coaches packet for each participant, door prizes, social hour and more!
The clinic will provide instruction on how to help their athletes improve their softball skills, knowlege and ability to execute. There will be something for everyone - no matter their coaching knowledge and experience. It's a fantastic way to learn from the best and meet others who share your interest in fastpitch softball. You can network with other coaches and spend some one-on-one time with
the instructors during breaks or the Coaches Social Hour.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014
|11:30 - 1:00 Registration
-- Exhibitor Display
1:00 - 2:00 LORI SIPPEL: Drills to Teach Proper Pitching Mechanics & Sequencing
2:00 - 3:00 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Men Coaching Women/Girls: What Works & What Doesn't
3:00 - 3:30 Exhibitor Display -- Break
3:30 - 4:30 CINDY BRISTOW: Creating Competitors in Practice
4:30 - 5:30 MIKE WHITE: Offensive Strategies That Put Pressure on Defenses
5:30 - 7:00 Dinner (on your own)
| 8:00 - 8:45 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Breaking Down the Swing: Mastering the Fundamentals
8:45 - 9:30 MIKE WHITE: Recruiting Realities: How the Process Really Works
9:30 - 10:15 LORI SIPPEL: Count Management: BallPlacement With Respect to Count
10:15 - 10:30 Exhibitor Display -- Break
10:30 - 11:15 CINDY BRISTOW: Skills & Drills to Develop Solid Infielders
11:15 - 12:00 KIRK WALKER: Building a Culture of Success
12:00 - 1:15 Lunch (on your own)
|7:00 - 8:00KIRK WALKER: Throwing Mechanics & Drills Position by Position
8:00 - 8:45 LORI SIPPEL: Movement Pitches: North-South vs. East-West
8:45 - 9:30 MIKE WHITE: Oregon's Top 10 Hitting Drills & How You Can Incorporate Them Into Your Practice
9:30 - 11:00 Coaches Social Hour -- Exhibitor Display
|1:15 - 2:00 RANDY SCHNEIDER: Baserunning: Speed & Smarts Can Make the Difference
2:00 - 2:45 KIRK WALKER: Outfield Positioning, Footwork & Throwing
2:45 - 3:30 CINDY BRISTOW: Team Drills - Practicing the Way You Want Your Team to Play!