Sunday, December 15, 2019






NFHS Concussion Task Force Recommendations to be Discussed by State Associations for Implementation in 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 12, 2014) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has finalized its position paper from the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force, which met in July to develop recommendations for minimizing the risk of concussions and head impact exposure in high school football.

The recommendations, which have been shared with the 51 NFHS-member state high school associations, and approved by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the NFHS Board of Directors, will be discussed by state associations at the NFHS Winter Meeting in early January for implementation in the 2015 football season.

The 24-member task force, which featured medical doctors, athletic trainers, high school coaches and key national leaders in high school sports, developed nine fundamentals for minimizing head impact exposure and concussion risk in football. They were designed to allow flexibility for state associations that collectively oversee the more than 15,000 high schools across the country that have football programs. As a result, each state high school association will be developing its own policies and procedures for implementation in the 2015 season.

Many of the recommendations focus on reducing the amount of full contact, including limiting the amount of full contact in practices during the season.

The Concussion Summit was the latest effort by the NFHS to minimize risk for the almost 7.8 million student participants in high school sports. In 2008, the SMAC advocated that a concussed athlete must be removed from play and not allowed to play on the same day. For the past five years, all NFHS rules publications have contained guidelines for the management of a student exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. In 2010, the NFHS developed on online course – “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” – and about 1.7 million individuals have taken the course through the NFHS Coach Education Program at

The “Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football” position paper is posted on the NFHS website at

Central Board Upholds AHSAA Rulings

                The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control Wednesday upheld two recent AHSAA eligibility rulings appealed by James Clemens and Chickasaw high schools.
                The appeals were heard at the Central Board’s annual October meeting at the AHSAA Office.  James Clemens High School’s appeal concerned the Eight Semester Rule while Chickasaw High School’s appeal related to the Custody and Legal Guardianship section of the Transfer Rule.
              The Board also heard a request for membership from Lindsay Lane Christian Academy of Athens. A vote was tabled and the request will be reconsidered later this school year to allow  more time for evaluation of membership requirements.
               The Central Board also thanked longtime AHSAA assistant director Alan Mitchell for his many contributions to the AHSAA while continuing to serve on a part-time basis.
               Other Board action included:       
               -- Approved the 2014 Super 7 Football projected expense budget.
              -- Approved online data requirement and publication clarifications.
               -- Heard a report concerning the NFHS Section 3 Meeting hosted by the AHSAA in September.
               -- Heard updates concerning the C2C Academic calculator.
            -- Heard a report from Knight Eady representative Mike Vest concerning upcoming Super 7 plans.

AHSAA Mourns Death Of Deshler Coach

       The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the untimely death of Deshler High School head football coach Jeffrey “Jake” Linville and joins with its member schools in offering condolences and to his family and extended family at the school.
       Linville, 41, died Sunday at Collinwood, TN. He is survived by his wife Kim and two children.
        “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Coach Linville, the coaches and players at Deshler High School and the entire school community,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.  “We offer our most sincere condolences and pray that God will sustain them in this time of such great loss.”
       Coach Linville, a native of Collinwood, was in his first year as head coach at Deshler. His 7-1 team clinched the Class 4A, Region 8 football title Friday night as the Tigers won its seventh straight game of the season.
       Previously he also served as an assistant coach at Wilson and Russellville and was head coach at Covington and Tipton-Rosemark high schools in Tennessee.
       Funeral arrangements were not available Monday morning.


Alabama Ranks Fourth in NFHS TV Network Subscribers

 The NFHS TV Network's first subscriber rankings of the 2014-15 school year released Monday showed Alabama ranking fourth nationally, trailing only Georgia, California and Tennessee.
   The AHSAA is also ranked second for the two-month period of August-September in respect to network referrals. The Illinois High School Association ranks first.
    The Network has broadcast more than 3,500 events this school year through September with virtually all of them through the School Broadcast Program available. Many AHSAA member schools are taking part in the SBP program. The total schools nationwide is up to 1,070 – a 57 percent increase over last year.
    The NFHS Network will broadcast (live-stream) the AHSAA State Volleyball Championships, State Cross Country Championships, State Swimming & Diving Championships and many of the AHSAA state football playoff games in the coming weeks.
    The current NFHS rankings, based on number of subscribers, are:
1. Georgia
2. California
3. Tennessee
4. Alabama
5. Florida
6. Texas
7. Illinois
8. New Mexico
9. Colorado
10. South Carolina

The current NFHS rankings, based on number of network referrals are:
1. (Illinois)
2. (Alabama)
3. (Georgia)
4. (Michigan)
5. (California)
6. (Wisconsin)
7. (Washington)
8. (Tennessee)
9. (Oregon)
10. (Florida)

Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner






Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 1, 2014) — Gill Athletics, the oldest and largest manufacturer of track and field equipment in the United States and around the world, has entered into a three-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.

As a part of the agreement, Gill Athletics, based in Champaign, Illinois, will be the exclusive NFHS partner for track and field, which will include coverage in the sport’s rules book, case book, rules poster, scorebook and rules PowerPoint. 

“We are pleased to have Gill Athletics join the NFHS as a corporate partner and to be our exclusive sponsor of track and field,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “In the high school market, Gill has been the leading supplier of track and field equipment for many years, so we believe this is a great partnership for both organizations. Track and field is No. 2 in school sponsorship for both boys and girls, so it is great to have Gill on board with the NFHS. We look forward to working with Gill over the next three years.”

Started by Harry Gill in 1918, Gill Athletics is the largest producer of track and field equipment in the world. Gill is the Official Equipment Supplier of USA Track and Field and currently produces more International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-certified products than any company in the industry.

“Gill Athletics considers it an honor to partner with the NFHS as its track and field equipment sponsor,” said Fred Dixon, national sales manager for Gill Athletics. “We could not have any greater appreciation for the work done by the NFHS, and we look forward to providing our full support for years to come.”

AHSAA Mourns Death Of Volunteer/Official

     The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of Bob Pannone, longtime volunteer at AHSAA events, 2008 inductee into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and long-time football official. Pannone died Monday morning at the age of 78.

     A two-sport letterman at Baldwin County High School, the industrial engineering graduate of Auburn University enjoyed a 42-year career in football officiating, including service as an AHSAA observer and district director, and received its Distinguished Service Award.
     Since retiring from officiating he has been a fixture at AHSAA championship and all-star events, handling various administrative duties.

     “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s devoted wife Joyce and the entire Pannone family,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “His life of service is one that we all should emulate.”

Visitation will be Wednesday, October 1st at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church located at 6620 Spanish Fort Boulevard from 5 to 7 p.m.
Burial will be Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 34904 Highway 225, Spanish Fort. A Celebration of Life memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Camp Rap a Hope, 1701 Airport Boulevard, Mobile, AL  36606 or to Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church in memory of Robert “Bob” Pannone.

AHSAA mourns death of Charles Henderson student

The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of Charles Henderson High School senior student-athlete Demario Harris. Demario collapsed during Charles Henderson’s football game versus Davidson Friday night. He passed away Sunday.

“We offer our most sincere condolences to the family of Demario and to his extended family, the Charles Henderson High School football team, coaching staff, administration, faculty and student body,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, school, team and entire Troy community.”

How to Avoid Hyponatremia

Ample hydration before and during practice and play is key for safety and optimal athletic performance, especially in the heat. However, the recent death of a high school football player reportedly from drinking far too much fluid, in an apparent attempt to resolve his muscle cramping, is a grim reminder that over-hydration, while rare,  should never be encouraged or dismissed as harmless.

Ready access to water and sports drinks during practice and competition is always recommended for any athletic or other strenuous physical activity. But drinking too much in a short period of time – in this tragic case, reportedly two gallons of water and two more gallons of a sports drink – can be far more than the body can handle. As a result, too much water in the blood can lead to brain swelling followed by seizure, coma and even death. This potentially deadly condition is called hyponatremia. Early symptoms typically include headache and nausea; although an athlete could be feeling this way for other reasons.

How can you avoid hyponatremia?

  • All student-athletes have the responsibility to be well-hydrated (normal body weight and light-colored urine) and well-nourished prior to training or competing. Regular fluid intake during practice and games/matches should be a priority, especially in the heat. Weighing oneself before and after practice with minimal clothing provides a good indication of how well you managed offsetting your sweat loss. The goal is to drink regularly to thirst. If you begin well-hydrated, a small pre- to post-practice/competition weight loss is okay. A weight gain shows that too much fluid was consumed.
  • Those selected and notably fewer athletes who sweat excessively and/or have a history of muscle cramping may have to add some salt to their diets and sports drinks when training and competing in the heat. This helps the body to hold onto fluid and reduces the risk of muscle cramping caused by large sweat sodium losses.

Bottom line: Hydrate regularly and wisely – but don’t overdrink! 

High School Sports Participation Increases for 25th Consecutive Year, Sets All-Time High of Almost 7.8 Million

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 28, 2014) — The number of participants in high school sports increased for the 25th consecutive year in 2013-14 with a record total of almost 7.8 million, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Based on figures from the 51 NFHS member state high school associations, which includes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2013-14 school year reached an all-time high of 7,795,658 – an increase of 82,081 from the previous year. This one-year increase was the highest since 2009-10.

Girls participation increased for the 25th consecutive year with an additional 44,941 participants from 2012-13 and set an all-time record of 3,267,664. Boys participation eclipsed 4.5 million for the first time (4,527,994), breaking the mark of 4,494,406 in 2010-11.

The increase in boys participation was due in part to the first increase in football numbers in five years. An additional 6,607 boys participated in 11-player football in 2013-14, pushing this past year’s total to 1,093,234. In addition, another 1,715 girls participated in 11-player football last year, an increase of 184 from the previous year.

“We are pleased with the increase in participation numbers in the sport of football for the 2013-14 school year,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “With the precautions that are in place nationwide to address concussions in all high school sports, including football, we have maintained that the risk of injury is as low as it ever has been. Certainly, this rise in football numbers is a confirmation of those beliefs and indicates the strong continued interest nationwide in high school football.”

Among the top 10 boys sports, baseball registered the largest gain with an additional 7,838 participants, followed by football and soccer (6,437). The top 10 boys sports remained unchanged from last year: football, outdoor track and field, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming and diving.

Volleyball gained the most participants among girls sports (9,426) from the previous year, and its total of 429,634 was within 3,710 of basketball for the No. 2 position. Track and field, with an additional 5,946 participants from 2012-13, remained the No. 1 sport for girls, followed by basketball, volleyball, soccer, fast-pitch softball, cross country, tennis, swimming and diving, competitive spirit squads and lacrosse.

“This past year’s report on sports participation in our nation’s high schools was another great statement about the importance of these education-based programs,” Gardner said. “We are encouraged that schools are continuing to respond to the funding challenges, and are particularly pleased to see that the increase this past year was evenly distributed between boys and girls.”

In terms of combined participation, lacrosse continued to register sizeable increases as overall participation for boys and girls increased by 9,744 to 188,689. The sport ranks 10th for girls and 11th for boys.

The top 10 states by participants remained in the same order as last year, with Texas and California topping the list with 805,299 and 783,008, respectively. The remainder of the top 10 was New York (389,475), Illinois (343,757), Ohio (325,448), Pennsylvania (317,318), Michigan (299,246), New Jersey (285,020), Florida (268,266) and Minnesota (232,909). Overall, 33 states reported higher figures from the previous year, up from 30 states that had increases the previous year.

The participation survey has been compiled since 1971 by the NFHS through numbers it receives from its member associations. The complete 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey is attached in PDF format and will be posted soon on the NFHS website at

Central Board of Control Approves Revenue Sharing & State Track Sites

$1.4 Million In Revenue Sharing, Track Championship Sites Approved By Central Board of Control

        The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control for the second straight year approved returning $1.4 million to its member schools under its Revenue Sharing Plan. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery. The Central Board also approved Gulf Shores (4A, 5A, 6A, 7A) and Cullman (1A, 2A, 3A) as host sites for the AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the next three years (2015-17).  
        The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Wednesday.
        The Revenue Sharing Plan, approved first by the Central Board in 2009, will have returned $6  million to its member schools in the five years of the program once 2013-14 school year payments are sent out next month. The formula for the distribution of funds includes a differential between classifications and the number of sports played by non-football-playing schools. The plan returns excess funds back to the schools when the AHSAA has at least one year’s working capital in reserve.
        Also, for the 22th consecutive year, the Central Board voted to waive membership dues to all member schools – a cost savings of more than $75,000 annually.
        “I want to thank the Central Board for their strong leadership,” said Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Returning another $1.4 million to our schools and waiving the annual membership dues are certainly important boosts to the financial well being of our schools.”
        The board also approved area and section adjustments and championshionip play for soccer to the following groupings: Class 1A-3A, Class 4A-5A, Class 6A and Class 7A. The move reduces travel for member schools, more equally aligns each group and also accommodates the growth in boys and girls soccer.
            Three new Central Board members were also sworn in by AHSAA Associate Executive Director Tony Stallworth, including Dr. Stephanie Robinson, principal of Fultondale High School; Darren Douthitt, Superintendent of Education of Anniston Schools; and Larry Raines, representing the Alabama State Board of Education.

In other Central Board action:

– Approved the financial reports for the spring championships in soccer, softball, baseball and track. Attendance and revenue was up overall from 2013.

– Approved a new catastrophic insurance plan for member schools, beginning 2014-15, and a new plan for calculating catastrophic insurance premiums. The Board was also updated on all AHSAA insurance coverage.

– Reviewed and approved all changes for the 2014-15 AHSAA publications.

– Approved the 2014-15 budgets for the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association and the 2013-14 audits for each group.

– Approved new track officials requirements.

– Approved adjustment to the fee structure for District Compliance Officers who conduct school audits.

– Approved middle school football jamborees on Saturday during the annual Champions Challenge.

– Voted to continue prohibiting member schools from competing in post-season national championship play as per current NFHS regulations.

– Gave approval to Knight Eady, the AHSAA’s new marketing partner, to procede with new AHSAA logo designs as well as Super 7 Football Championship and State Basketball Tournament logo designs.
– Heard a report from Denise Ainsworth that the AHSAA Five-Year Strategic Plan is ahead of schedule with 21 of 24 items now already completed.

– Heard a request by Briarwood Christian School Athletic Director Terry Davis to provide more stringent regulations for spring sports, especially baseball, softball, tennis and golf.

Action by the AHSAA Legislative Council, which met in the afternoon: 
– Heard a review of the Central Board action.

– Reviewed and approved all changes for the 2014-15 AHSAA publications.