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March 2005 Monthly Bulletin

Welcome

ONLINE @ www.riil.org

Rhode Island Interscholastic League

Thomas A. Mezzanotte

Executive Director

Richard R. Magarian

Assistant Executive Director

Jane C. Hale

Treasurer

Ruth Nicastro

Secretary

Susana Borges

Secretary

Gail Lepore

Secretary

Rhode Island Interscholastic League Bldg. #6 R. I. College Campus 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue Providence, RI 02908-1991 Tel: (401) 272-9844 Fax: (401)272-9838 web site: www.riil.org email: [email protected]

The RIIL is Proud to Recognize its Corporate Sponsors

MetLife Auto and Home AMICA INSURANCE Pepsi- Cola Co. BADEN ATHLETIC BALLS

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

The Pawtucket Red Sox

Brine Penn Monto Cox Sports Television Rawlings Sporting Goods CVS Downtown 5K

Spalding

Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union

United States Air Force

M-F ATHLETIC COMPANY

United States Army

Martin Screen Prints

United States Marine Corps

FROM THE DESK OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.......

A

s we all know, the winter of 2005 has been plagued by inclement weather, necessitating continual postponements and cancellations. With your cooperation, understanding and patience, the online scheduling program has been invaluable and successful in rescheduling the numerous contests affected by the elements. The administration and staff of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League would like to thank Athletic Directors, Sport Directors, and Assignors for their cooperation. Without their efforts, time and interest, Rhode Island student-athletes would not enjoy the meaningful and educationally sound athletic programs we provide. As always, we are here to serve you and stand ready to assist you in any way we can. A reminder to all schools to submit their Declaration of Intent Form to the League office as soon as possible, if you haven't already done so. Also, please send graduation dates. I wish you all a very successful spring sport season. Please keep in mind and emphasize to all student-athletes and coaches that good sportsmanship and citizenship are a very important part of high school athletics. *****

ALICE A. SULLIVAN AND EIGHT OTHER PROMINENT RHODE ISLANDERS TO BE INDUCTED INTO STATE HALL OF FAME

Dr. Patrick T. Conley, President of the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, announced the selection of nine prominent Rhode Islanders ­ six living and three deceased ­ for inclusion into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Alice A. Sullivan of East Providence, a teacher, school administrator, the first Director of girl's sports for the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, and the principal pioneer of girls' athletic competition in Rhode Island will be honored as one of the inductees. This year's induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2005 at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. A 6:00 p.m. social hour will be followed by a 7:00 p.m. dinner, entertainment, and the induction ceremony. Ticket may be purchased in advance by May 4th and may be obtained from the Hall of Fame by calling Shannon McHale at (401) 455-0619. *****

Girls

Our Sincere Condolences to the Family & Friends of:

William Valerio, President of RIIL Swim

Officials Bill Valerio passed away on Thursday, March 10, 2005. High School swimming lost a great friend and official.

Samantha Gawrych Junior, Westerly High School

Westerly High School Junior, Samantha Gawrych is rewriting the record books in indoor and outdoor track and cross country. As a sophomore in the 2003-2004 season, she captured the state 1000-and 1,500-meter titles, anchored Westerly's winning 4x400 relay and was a major contributing factor in her school winning the state team title. As anchor of her relay team, Gawrych helped the Bulldogs break three state indoor marks; in the 4x800, and the sprint and distance medley relays. Her winning ability has stretched beyond the state of Rhode Island. She traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston where she captured the New England indoor mile title. A week later she became the United States indoor high school girls' mile champion running a 4:53.02 time at the National Scholastic Indoor Track Championships in New York City. Her time also broke a Rhode Island state record. Also at the New York meet, Gawrych anchored a Westerly sprint medley relay that broke a 24-year-old New England record. Gawrych continued to dominate in outdoor track last spring. At the State Championships at Brown University, she was a double gold medalist, winning the 800 meters and the

Frank Wright, Jr.

Frank Wright, 79, died Sunday, March 20, 2005. Mr. Wright was a teacher and administrator in the Pawtucket School Department for twenty-four years. He was a member of the RI Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, one of the founding fathers of the RIAAA and served as Executive Director on the RIAAA for a number of years. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship is being established for a graduate from Shea and Tolman High Schools. Donations may be made to Shea High, c/o Robin Panchuk, 385 East Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860.

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1,500 meters. Her 1,500 meter time of 4:28.54 broke the state record. She was, again, a major component in helping her team to a state championship. At the outdoor National Scholastic Track Championships in North Carolina, Gawrych earned AllAmerican honors with her third-place finish in the 800-in a new state record time of 2:09.90. She also anchored two Westerly relays that turned in state-record performances: the 4x800 and the sprint medley relay. At the Yale Invitational in January, Gawrych then anchored the Westerly DMR that broke its own state record. She now has six state indoor marks, both individually and as a relay anchor.

Meghan is a great role model for student-athletes. Despite the fact that she sustained an unfortunate injury that kept her sidelined during her senior year, she continued to be an example of good leadership and sportsmanship as she supported her school and her teammates. Although she was physically unable to play, she remained an active member of the team and played an important role of team leader.

*If you know an athlete who you feel has exemplified good sportsmanship, outstanding academic achievement, or any other noteworthy accomplishment and would like to have them recognized, please e-mail the RIIL at [email protected]

Student-Athlete Highlight Stephanie Fay Senior, Coventry High School

Friendly, respectful, and athletic are just some words to describe one of the student athletes the RIIL is highlighting this month; Stephanie Fay. As a senior at Coventry High School Stephanie is not only a standout student, ranking in the top third of her class, but her athletic abilities set her apart. As a junior, Stephanie made a very responsible and important decision to be home schooled so that she could focus on her goal of qualifying for the Junior Olympic Nationals. In this time she spent thirty-four hours a week in the gym, traveled well over nine hundred miles each week and finished a demanding school work load. All this hard work paid off as Stephanie placed within the top ten gymnasts in the region, qualifying her for the Junior Olympic Nationals and she is currently ranked as one of the top forty, level 10 gymnasts in the country. Today, Stephanie continues to work hard in gymnastics and is currently enrolled in a fairly demanding college preparatory program at Coventry High School. She is now looking forward to a successful future in college and the RIIL wishes this Top Student Athlete the best of luck!

Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association (RIATA) has a website www.riathletictrainers.org that is a great resource for our member schools.

ATHLETIC TRAINING ANNOUNCEMENT

DURING MARCH, CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINERS ACROSS AMERICA ARE BEING RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR ACTIVE. COMMITMENT TO HELPING PEOPLE PREVENT INJURIES AND STAY HEALTHY AND ATHLETIC TRAINING IS AN ALLIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSION. THE RHODE ISLAND ATHLETIC TRAINERS' ASSOCIATION IS WORKING TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING QUALITY MEDICAL CARE TO ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETES. THE RHODE ISLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE WOULD LIKE TO SALUTE ATHLETIC TRAINERS FOR PROVIDING QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR ATHLETES IN THE OCEAN STATE AND FOR WORKING WITH US TO PROVIDE A HEALTH AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL ATHLETES.

Noteworthy Athlete Meghan Heffernan Senior, Mount St. Charles Academy

The RIIL would like to recognize Meghan Heffernan. A senior at Mount St. Charles Academy, Meghan was an all division soccer player both her sophomore and junior years. Unfortunately, over the summer Meghan broke her arm playing the sport. Despite her injury and inability to play, Meghan served as team captain and attended every practice and every game. She was able to return to the field to resume practicing in October and was able to play in a few games. Following the soccer season, Meghan was informed that her arm was not healing properly and surgery would be necessary. She was a three year basketball player and was returning as captain in her senior season; however, due to her injury she would be unable to participate for the entire season. Again, Meghan did not turn her back on her teammates even though she could not play. She attended every practice and every game following her surgery.

Athletic Training Awareness

Public Awareness about the profession of Athletic Training is our number one goal for the state of Rhode Island. We are making progress and are working closely with the RIIL (Rhode Island Interscholastic League). Our main focus is protecting student-athletes in the secondary school setting. The RIATA (Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association) has put together a plan to work with the RIIL. I have attached the release that the RIATA & RIIL are distributing in March in honor of National Athletic Training Month. We ask and encourage your support to add a certified athletic trainer to all high schools across the state. We know this is going to be a great challenge. The RIATA in conjunction with the RIIL will be sponsoring a Sports Medicine symposium during the month of September 2005. This will provide a panel for discussions and allow your valued input. In addition, a larger conference is in discussion for the month of November 2005. All of your questions and concerns will be our focal point. We will be inviting superintendents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and parents to strategize the reality of securing quality healthcare for all student-athletes in Rhode Island high school sports. I encourage all to visit our website at www.riathletictrainers.org and our national association website at www.nata.org to learn more. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss this issue further. I can be reached at 401-874-5230. Thanks for your time and we look forward to working with you. Sincerely, Andy Llaguno, MSEd, ATC, CSCS RIATA President. Senior Associate Athletic Trainer, URI Rob Lawton, 401-286-6638

March is National Athletic Training Month and the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers' Association (RIATA) and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) want to raise awareness of the importance of providing quality medical coverage to all Rhode Island high school studentathletes. "As parents, our greatest concern is for the health and safety of our children ­ on the busses, in the classrooms, and on the playing fields. We demand the best drivers, teachers, administrators and coaches, yet often ignore what is best for our athletes'" stated Tom Mezzanotte, Director of the RIIL. " Certified athletic trainers are professionals who are licensed and trained to provide our student-athletes the best medical care possible and we shouldn't settle for anything less." Results of a 2004 survey conducted by the RIATA shows a concerning trend in the lack of medical coverage in Rhode Island high school sports. Of the 21 schools responding, only 19% provide a full time certified athletic trainer for games and practices while 52% provide part-time coverage. This data suggests that many student-athletes are going without proper medical care following an injury in a game or practice, which may often force coaches to make medical decisions. Deciding whether an athlete can return to play after an injury is a critical component of the services provided by a certified athletic trainer. According to Dr. James Sullivan ATC and member of the State of Rhode Island Athletic Trainer Board of Licensure, state law requires that anyone working as an athletic trainer in the state is licensed to perform those duties. "It is important for all administrators to insure that any individual delivering care to their student-athletes hold the appropriate credentials and they should never utilize any person to care for their athletes in situations when return to play after any injury is a possibility, unless the individual covering that athletic event is a licensed Athletic Trainer." Sandy Gorham, head football coach at East Providence High School, feels fortunate to have a certified athletic trainer at all football games and twice a week at practices. "Our student-athletes work hard to be successful and deserve the best medical care we can provide," stated Gorham. "In the heat of the moment during a game I rely on our athletic trainer to determine what is best for our injured players, which provides me with peace of mind and the ability to concentrate on coaching my team." A recent task force composed of experts from 17 school, health care and medical associations, who all shared the same goal of ensuring youth athletes receive consistent and adequate medical care while participating in practices and games, announced a consensus statement on the appropriate medical care for the secondary school-aged athlete. They stated that the medical care of high school athletes involves more that just basic emergency care during sports participation

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IS MEDICAL CARE IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS A PRIORITY? RIIL and RIATA Promote Awareness During National Athletic Training Month

PROVIDENCE, RI (March 8, 2005) ­ It's tournament time in high school sports in the Ocean State when attention goes to that last second shot or big rebound made to win the state championship. Athletics are an important part of the high school experience for many students. Sports can provide a positive learning environment that will help student-athletes in many aspects of their lives. And like pep rallies and cross-state rivalries ­ injuries are an inevitable part of high school athletics regardless of the preventive measures taken.

and should include activities such as rehabilitation, return to play decisions, fitting of equipment and other crucial aspects of ongoing daily health care. They also advised that an athletic health care team comprised of appropriate professionals work with administrators, coaches, parents and participants to provide the best healthcare system and recommended that all coaches be trained in first aid and CPR. For more information on the task force recommendations, visit http://www.nata.org/downloads/documents/Consensus% 20Statement_Final%20Version_Sept02.pdf George Finn L.A.T.,C., C.A.A., Director of Athletics and Student Activities at Barrington High School considers the importance of providing quality medical coverage a fundamental right for their student-athletes. "We strive to provide the best coaches and equipment for our sports teams. Providing a certified athletic trainer on staff is a critical component of our athletic program", stated Mr. Finn. "Our parents, coaches, and administrators have the peace of mind that our student-athletes have the best medical care possible. The athletes not only have a safe environment to participate in, but have the guidance of a certified athletic trainer when it comes time to return successfully to athletics from an injury". As the winter season ends with the sounds of whistles and cheering fans, consider the healthcare provided to the student-athletes at your local school. The National Athletic Trainers' Association has developed a safety checklist for parents to help them review their school's medical coverage http://www.nata.org/publicinformation/files/safetychecklis t.pdf For more information on this topic or other pertinent topics in athletic training and sports medicine you may visit the Rhode Island Athletic Trainer's Association (RIATA) website at www.riathletictrainers.org or the National Athletic Trainers' Website at www.nata.org . You may also email them at [email protected] for answers to your questions. RIATA members are certified and state licensed health care providers.

IS YOUR SCHOOL PREPARED TO HANDLE

a Major Athletic Injury?

Kurt Behrhorst, MAT, ATC It is inevitable. At some point, athletes at your school will suffer injuries. What precautions have you put in place to take care of student-athletes? Unfortunately, many people don't want to think of what can happen until a major injury occurs and it's too late. With the proper personnel in place, you can provide immediate and proper care to your school's athletes and limit the possibility of a costly lawsuit. The best person for this job is a certified athletic trainer (ATC). A certified athletic trainer is skilled in the immediate care of athletic injuries, as well as the evaluation and rehabilitation of these injuries. There are several different ways to utilize an ATC, depending on the amount of coverage desired and the size of your student body. The major responsibilities of an athletic trainer include: protective and preventative taping and bracing of athletes; designing and implementing treatment and rehabilitation programs, nutritional programs, and strength and conditioning programs; maintaining the documentation of injuries and medical records; providing medical coverage of practices and games; and enacting emergency first aid and immediate acute care to student-athletes. Why does a high school need a full-time athletic trainer? One of the best reasons to have a full-time ATC is to provide daily preventative measures to athletes, such as taping and bracing. According to recent studies, more than half of the injuries to high school athletes occur at practices. With a full-time ATC on staff, these injuries can be quickly evaluated for severity, and athletes are able to return to activity sooner, thus lightening the burden on coaches and keeping athletes healthier. Why choose an ATC over another member of the allied health professionals? Emergency Medical Services Personnel (EMTs) are highly trained in the area of acute trauma and are adept at the stabilization and transportation of injuries to medical facilities. However, their training does not equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide comprehensive daily injury treatment and rehabilitation to injured athletes. Physical therapists are welleducated in the areas of rehabilitation and reconditioning, yet they lack the formal education of on-the-field evaluation procedures and provision of immediate first aid athletic injuries. They may not have experiences in preventative taping, nor are they likely to be wellversed in providing sports nutrition information. Many schools may not have the ability to hire a full-time ATC and other options may need to be investigated. If the time has come for you to investigate the hiring of a certified athletic trainer, you can contact NATA or visit its Web site, (www.nata.org). The NATA Web site offers helpful links for determining the amount of appropriate coverage needed at your school. Whatever choices you make in the medical care of your student-athletes, it is important to understand that hiring an ATC can help ease the stress of the worried parent, help the athlete seek immediate medical care and limit your liability for athletic injuries. *****

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SPORTS

DESK

|

February

22,

2005,

Tuesday

Grants for Student Drug-Testing Programs

Research shows that those who make it through their teenage years without using drugs are much less likely to start using them when they are older. Student drug testing is one program that deters young people from using drugs. Supreme Court rulings have allowed schools to randomly drug-test athletes and students who participate in extracurricular activities, thereby giving schools another tool to complement their existing school-based, drugprevention program. Approximately $10 million in federal grants to implement or expand student drug-testing programs will be available through the U.S. Department of Education. It is expected that the application period will be open between mid-June and August 1. A Notice of Funds Available will be posted on the Department of Education's website: http://www.ed.gov/osdfs. You may wish to alert your schools on the availability of these funds.

Doctors See a Big Rise in Injuries As Young Athletes Train Nonstop

By BILL PENNINGTON; BRUCE WEBER CONTRIBUTED REPORTING FOR THIS ARTICLE. (NYT) 2073 words Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 1 , Column 1 Doctors in pediatric sports medicine are treating injuries in children that they once saw only in adults. They are blaming overaggressive culture of organized youth sports; typical injuries range from stress fractures, growth plate disorders, cracked kneecaps and frayed heel tendons to back condition brought on by excessive flexing that causes slipped vertebra. Dr Lyle Micheli, director of sports medicine division of Boston Children's Hospital, says 70 percent of cases he sees are overuse injuries. One factor repeatedly cited by sportsmedicine doctors as prime cause for outbreak in overuse injuries among young athletes is specialization in one sport at early age and year-round, almost manic, training for it that often follows.

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"Unlike any other business in the United States, sports must preserve an illusion of perfect innocence. The mounting of this illusion defines the purpose and accounts for the immense wealth of American sports. It is the ceremony of innocence that the fans pay to see ­ not the game or the match or the bout, but the ritual portrayal of a world in which time stops and all hope remains plausible, in which everybody present can recover the blameless expectations of a child, where the forces of light always triumph over the powers of darkness."

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--Lewis H. Lapham--

Learn More About Student Drug Testing

Schools that have implemented random, non-punitive, student drug-testing programs are finding them to be effective in deterring drug use. Random testing gives young people a convenient reason to say "no" to drugs, and underscores the message that drug use is a barrier to achieving one's full potential. Random testing can also identify those who are using drugs, thereby allowing parents to steer them into counseling, if necessary, before they become addicted. The Office of National Drug Control Policy will sponsor four regional summits on student drug testing between April and May 2005. Each summit will present information on the legal challenges of a drug-testing program; policy development; the importance of a student-assistance program; and various drug-testing methods. Summits will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (northeast); St. Louis, Missouri (Mid-Central); and Dallas, Texas (mid-South).

Officials and Coaches: Remember the three R's

Both coaches and officials need to always conduct themselves in a professional manner. That does not mean that you cannot be personable with each other. Introduce yourselves prior to the game and remember that it is OK to smile and be friendly. Coaches and officials should not go into a game as adversaries! You are both there to provide the students the opportunity to have a great time. Remember the three R's - Respect, Respect and Respect! Disagreements will occur. Plan on that and plan on how you will handle those situations- with respect. Coaches need to approach officials with respect and then learn to let it go. Officials need to listen with respect and try to briefly respond to coach's requests, as long as they are reasonable and presented respectfully.

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Continuing our segment pertaining to athletics and achievement based on information provided by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), this month's focus is "Athletics and the Whole Student." Apart from the primary concerns of academic performance by student participating in interscholastic sports, the Commission focused on a number of other issues relating to high school athletes. One of these issues in understanding the role of athletics in terms of the development of the whole student. Educators must remember that high school athletes are members of the larger student body, and as such they face the same pressures, rites of passage, and other aspects of growing up as do other adolescents-as well as experiencing pressures and benefits unique to their status as athletes. Being a student-athlete has many benefits including social benefits. Engaging in daily practices instills in players qualities of discipline, teamwork, physical fitness, and organization. Competing in games and event instills the qualities of self-confidence, hard work, and ambition. Also, student-athletes become more connected through the school, gain peer recognition, consume the free time they may normally have spent involved in less productive activities, and engage is higher levels of parental involvement and support. Aside from social benefits, there are health benefits for students involved in athletics as well. Student-athletes have increased levels fitness, coordination, and strength. Athletics also reduces the risk of obesity, Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer in young adults. As a preventative measure, athletic participation should be encouraged to replace the time children spend in front of the television or computer playing video games or surfing the web. Female participants were more likely than nonparticipants to report eating vegetables the previous day and less likely to report smoking cigarettes, using marijuana or cocaine, having sexual intercourse in the past three months, or contemplating or attempting suicide. Male sports participants were less likely to report cigarettes smoking, illegal drug use, carrying a weapon, trying to lose weight, or contemplating suicide. Another major issue in high school athletics is sports specialization. Sports specialization is defined as athletes limiting athletic participation to one sport that is practiced, trained for, and competed throughout the year. Many argue that by only focusing on those deemed to have skills early, many students are denied the opportunity to gain confidence, exposure, and skills by playing a varsity sport. Advocates of specialization say that advantages of specialization are the possibility of enhancing athletic performance, higher probability of winning competitions, building of selfconfidence, fewer scheduling conflicts, and potential college scholarships or professional contracts.

The NASBE sites several recommendations for state boards of education to consider: · Policies that allow all students, particularly those in vocational education, the opportunity to participate in athletics · Programs that will encourage all students, no matter their various talents, to engage in daily physical activity · Policies that test and monitor the use of performance-enhancing drugs by highs school athletes. This is of critical importance as state boards work with state activities associations · Policies and programs designed to educate students, particularly minority students, as to the limitations of viewing athletics as an end without equal consideration of academics · Develop and encourage professional development programs for coaches to communicate the benefits of multi-sports athletics and the disadvantages of sports specialization. Other ways to encourage multi-sports athletics include: · Arranging schedules for seasonal sports so that overlap is minimized between seasons · Limiting the use of school facilities and equipment to in-season sports only · Acknowledging and awarding multi-sports athletes, as well as scholar athletes, at banquets and award ceremonies Look for the next addition of this segment in the April bulletin. *****

"Men forget everything; women

remember everything. That's why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened."

--Rita Rudner--

Simple Ways To Be a Good Sport

It is difficult to attend an interscholastic event without witnessing some act of poor sportsmanship. Anytime a large group of people gathers the chances of witnessing unfavorable sporting behavior increases. Peer pressure is a powerful way to curb acts of poor sporting behavior. Not supporting individuals who display poor sportsmanship and instructing them about good sportsmanship can curb this disturbing trend. The following six steps will help everyone understand their responsibilities at an athletic or fine arts event.

Trying to put sportsmanship back in sports

The Institute for National Sports at URI is trying to reverse a disturbing trend across the country and around the world.

BY ROBERT LEE Journal Sports Writer

Friday, March 4, 2005

Understanding the rules. Model your best behavior. Acknowledge all skilled performance. Respect the opponents. Respect the officials. Be Proud of who you are, use good judgment.

Remember-Sportsmanship is Everybody's Responsibility *****

High School Athletics Participation Survey

In addition to containing the most recent High School Athletics Participation Survey (2003_2004 school year at this time), the NFHS website now contains a year-by-year history of national participation survey numbers going back to the first year (1969-70) the survey was conducted. The survey provides national participation figures of both the number of students-athletes participating in a particular sport, as well as the number of high schools offering a particular sport for every year the survey has been conducted by the NFHS. To access the survey, go to the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org. Then, click on "Survey Resources" along the lefthand side of the home page. Then, click on "Participation Figure History." To obtain figures for a particular sport for a particular year, click on the left selection box (Sport), and when the choices drop down, click on the particular sport you are seeking. Then, click on the right selection box (School Year), and when the choices drop down, click on the particular school year you are seeking. Then, click on the box entitled, "Find Participation Figures." *****

EAST GREENWICH -- From the pros to high school sports, there have been plenty of examples of bad sportsmanship lately. It's a trend the Institute for National Sports, based at the University of Rhode Island, is trying to reverse. The institute, which celebrated National Sportsmanship Day on Tuesday, has been sending representatives to area high schools this week in a quest to promote good sportsmanship. Recent events indicate it has plenty of work to do. Examples of bad sportsmanship, if not criminal conduct, abound. Locally, there was a fight between players at the annual Cranston versus West Warwick Thanksgiving Day game, as well as the incident at Cranston Stadium last November in which three fans were charged with fighting in the stands during a preteen football game between the West Warwick Steelers and the Providence Mount Hope Cowboys. In the pro ranks, Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest went after a fan in the stands and set off a brawl that resulted in criminal charges for players and fans. At the college level, Temple coach John Chaney ordered rough play from one of his players that resulted in a broken arm for an opposing St. Joseph's player. In its effort to counteract such behavior, the Institute for National Sports sent five representatives to East Greenwich High School yesterday, and five more will visit Narragansett and Portsmouth High school today to promote its goal -- to end unsportsmanlike conduct. "We believe in the values of sportsmanship," said Marie Rolfe, a junior volleyball player at URI and a member of the institute. "We think that lately there have been bad examples of sportsmanship throughout all levels of sports whether it's males and females, or parents in stands. It's even happening at the Little League level. We think that high school students and elementary school students can really benefit from the values of sportsmanship." After passing along their message, Rolfe said that the institute hopes that high school students will go to elementary schools and teach them about sportsmanship so that youngsters are taught at a

young age that sportsmanship is just as, if not more important, than winning. "We aren't here to preach," Rolfe said. "We are here to encourage the values of sportsmanship. We live them everyday. As a member of the University of Rhode Island volleyball team, I've experienced poor sportsmanship in the stands at other schools, so we'd like to be a good example and set a standard for sportsmanship everywhere." Several area high schools have shown great sportsmanship in recent weeks. Earlier this week, Juanita Sanchez and Prout both came forward to forfeit their wins and their opportunity to play in the postseason because they found out that they had inadvertently used an ineligible, fifth-year player. Moses Brown forfeited its state football title after finding out that it used an ineligible fifth-year player, as well. Those are the principles of honesty and integrity that the institute hopes to foster instead of the win-at-all-costs philosophy that it defines as "the method or art of winning a game or contest by means of unsportsmanlike behavior or other conduct which does not actually break rules but breaks the spirit of the rules." The institute has administered National Sportsmanship Day for the last 14 years. Over this period, it has found that practices of gamesmanship lie at the very core of many sportsmanship/fair play problems. For instance, since steroids have been a hot topic in Major League Baseball, Rolfe said, rumors have been swirling about high school students using steroids. "I love to win, but I love knowing how I've won and that's far more important than just winning," Rolfe said. "I have a high respect for my opponents because my opponents make me better every time I play against them so you have to, as an athlete and a human being, respect whoever is in your playing field and in your environment. I think that high school students and elementary school students can really use those values in their daily lives." Rolfe, along with fellow URI volleyball players Ivy Zuidhof, Lauren Shea, their coach Bob Schneck, and URI rugby player Joe Colacurcio, split up the 75 students attending the event yesterday at East Greenwich High into groups of twenty five. Each group had to come up with two "taboo" words and three "charades" words that related to sportsmanship. One group then gave clues and the other groups had to guess the answer that the presenting group wrote down. The group with the most correct guesses won. All of the students seemed to have a great time shouting out answers and performing in front of their fellow classmates. And as Rolfe expected, most of the correct answers that the students came up with were examples of bad sportsmanship. One group gave these clues -- basketball, illegal contact, suspension, and bad attitude -- for Chaney, which was also a popular answer among most groups. The most popular charade was acting out Artest's fight with the Detroit Pistons fans.

"In a way it's kind of sad that more students associate with bad sportsmanship," Rolfe said. "We saw a lot of examples of bad sportsmanship today, but also I think that more students can be positively encouraged to be open to the ideas of sportsmanship as opposed to being heavily influenced by the media and the examples shown through the media of bad sportsmanship." At the end of the assembly, the 75 students created three sportsmanship signs that were posted at different sites within the school for other students to sign and pledge their support for good sportsmanship. Since its founding in 1990, National Sportsmanship Day has been celebrated in tens of thousands of schools, not only in the United States but throughout the world, and by millions of students, teachers, coaches and parents. *****

Rhode Island's Amazing High School Records

1. LaSalle's Boys' Cross Country Team holds the All-Time record for Most State Championships won in the United States. They were state champions from 1933-1983. 2. Mt. St. Charles Academy's Boys' Ice Hockey Team holds the All-Time record for Most State Championships won in the United States. They were state champions from 1933-2003. 3. Coventry High School's Wrestling Team holds the 11th place seat for the All-Time record for Most State Championships won in the United States. They were state champions from 1982-1999.

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SUMMARY OF MEETING

The February meeting of the Principals' Committee on Athletics was cancelled due to inclement weather. The next meeting is scheduled for March 21, 2005.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Mission of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Is to provide educational opportunities For students through interscholastic athletics And to provide governance and leadership For its member schools In the implementation of athletic programs.

NATIONAL AFFILIATION

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which consists of the state high school associations of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Guam, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and all provinces of Canada are affiliate members. The objectives of the National Federation of State High School Associations are to: serve, protect, and enhance the interstate activity interests of the high schools belonging to the state associations; assist in those activities of the state associations which can best be operated on a nationwide scale; sponsor meetings, publications, and activities which will permit each state association to profit by the experience of all other member associations; coordinate the work so duplication will be minimized; formulate, copyright, and publish rules of play or event conduct pertaining to interscholastic activities; preserve interscholastic athletic records, and the tradition and heritage of interscholastic sports; provide programs, services, material and assistance to state associations, high schools and individual professionals involved in the conduct and administration of interscholastic activities; study in general all phases of interscholastic activities and serve as a national resource for information pertaining thereto; identify needs and problems related to interscholastic activities and where practical provide solutions thereto; and promote the educational values of interscholastic activities to the nation's public.

a monthly publication of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League

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