Current Season Reversal Percentage is 24.4%
MONTGOMERY – Five of seven AHSAA varsity high school football contests using DVSport Instant Replay last week had a season-high total of 10 challenges with two calls reversed, reports AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones.
This week, four games will be utilizing the DVSport Instant Replay with seven schools taking part for the first time this season.
The Week 7 report had two games with no challenges. Out of ten the 10 challenges, two were reversed upon review. Both reversals resulted in changing a completed pass to an incomplete pass.
The reversed calls were as follow, said Jones.
Northside at Good Hope: Good Hope challenged a completed pass for Northside on a third down and 8 yards to go play. After review, the pass was ruled incomplete.
Russellville at Lawrence County: Visiting Russellville challenged a completed pass by Lawrence County on a third-and-10 play. After review, the pass was ruled incomplete.
The other challenges involved fumbles, goal-line play, catch/no catch, and Arab challenged a fumble call in its contest with East Limestone challenging that the quarterback’s arm was moving forward, thus the fumble should have been ruled an incomplete pass. Upon review, however, the call stood as called on the field – a fumble.
A total of 41 calls on the field have resulted in 10 been reversed this season, a percentage of 24.4%. The percentage is a slight decrease from 25.8% rate after week five.
DVSport Instant Replay is in its second year of implementation. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular-season games.
Jones reported that the Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:
41 reviews with 10 reversals. 24.4%
15 on catch/no catch
5 breaking plane of goal line (note 2 were also fumble reviews)
1 Illegal participation
1 Illegal forward pass
2 Touching of punt
3 Forward progress
1 Penalty Enforcement Spot
1 Kick Out of Bounds
A total of 55 schools have participated in AHSAA contests utilizing Instant Replay this season with six games scheduled for this Friday. New to the Instant Replay this week will be seven schools: Arab, Benjamin Russell, Fairhope, Huffman, Northside, Russellville and Saraland. The complete list of games utilizing Instant Replay this week are listed below.
Week 7 Games with Instant Replay
Ardmore (5A) at East Limestone (5A)
Calera (6A) at Opelika (6A)
Huntsville (7A) at Austin (7A), Decatur
Lincoln (4A) at Handley (4A), Roanoke
SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON (51)
Class 7A (13)
Class 6A (16)
St. Paul’s Episcopal
Class 5A (10)
Class 4A (7)
Class 3A (1)
Class 2A (1)
Class 1A (1)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
About four weeks ago, we distributed an op-ed suggesting that inappropriate behavior by parents and other adult fans at high school sporting events was causing many officials to quit before they even reached two years on the job.
Although we received mostly positive support from this article, some people thought we went too far in telling parents to “act your age” and “stay in your own lane.” On the contrary, perhaps we should have been more direct.
Last week, one of our member state associations shared a resignation letter it had received from a 20-year veteran soccer official who had taken all the abuse he could handle. A portion of that letter follows:
“Soccer parents: you are absolutely 100% the reason we have a critical refereeing shortage and games are being cancelled left and right. And you are at least a part of the reason I’m done here. The most entitled among you are the ones that scream the loudest. And every time you do this, you tell your son or daughter the following:
“I do not believe in you, I do not believe in your team, I do not believe in your collective ability to overcome your own adversity and you absolutely will not win and cannot do this without me tilting the table in your favor.
“On behalf of myself and so many other referees – and I say this with every ounce of my heart and soul – shut up about the referees, and let your kids rise or fall as a team, as a FAMILY. Because the vast majority of you truly have no idea what you’re talking about, and even if you have a legitimate gripe about one play or one decision, you’re not fixing anything.”
And if that wasn’t enough, last week the Eastern Panhandle Youth Football League in West Virginia released the following statement:
“Unfortunately, it has come to the point that because of the abuse, negativity and utter disrespect shown to our officials from parents, coaches and most recently from our players, the Eastern Panhandle Officials Association president stated today that the association will no longer schedule officials for our league games at any field. This means effective immediately all remaining games are cancelled.”
This statement is from a youth league, which means the coaches are likely also parents of players, and the players are sons and daughters who are emulating their parents’ behavior.
So, no, our previous message was not too direct or emphatic. The kind of boorish parental behavior that compels a 20-year soccer official to quit cannot be allowed to continue. While we would hope that parents and other fans would embrace the concepts of education-based athletics by respecting the efforts of those men and women who officiate high school sports, that unfortunately is not occurring in some cases.
As a result, schools must adopt and enforce a strict, fan behavior policy. In soccer, a player receives a “yellow card” as a first warning for unsportsmanlike conduct. If the action occurs again, the player is hit with a “red card” and is ejected from the contest. Some schools have implemented a similar penalty structure for parents and other fans – not just at soccer games but all high school events. If the inappropriate behavior and verbal abuse of officials continues after one warning, the person is removed from the venue. There must be consequences for these offenders before we lose any more officials.
Most of the 7.9 million participants in high school sports are on the fields and courts every day to have fun and compete as a team with their classmates, and the 300,000-plus officials assist in that process. Now, if parents would let the players play and the officials officiate!
Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/the-nfhs-voice-veteran-officials-hanging-it-up-because-of-unruly-behavior-by-parents/
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is in her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.
Esports platform partners with AHSAA to offer students school-sanctioned esports, providing access to premier game titles and college scholarship opportunities
PlayVS, the company bringing varsity esports to high schools across the country, today announced the start of the Fall 2019 season. Last year, 37 schools participated in the AHSAA, with Hoover’s Spain Park High School (16-2) winning the League of Legends championship and Huntsville’s Grissom High School (27-0) taking home the Rocket League crown. The current waitlist to build an interscholastic esports program with PlayVS is over 13,000 schools long -- 68% of all high schools -- and spans across all 50 US states. This puts esports on par with traditional programs like football, which is available in 14,247 schools.
“The AHSAA is looking forward to the 2019-20 Esports season with PlayVS. We are excited to be partnered with a great organization who promotes educational-based opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Marvin Chou, AHSAA Assistant Director who oversees Esports for the member schools. “We are on track to almost double the number of participating schools from our first year. This increase in numbers is proof that we are reaching a group of students that may not be participating in any other traditional sport or activity.”
Member schools are embracing the newest AHSAA-sanctioned activity with 414 students participating in AHSAA competition in the first year.
“Esports has had a profound impact on our student body and faculty,” said Justin Tolbert, the Esports coach at Baker High School. “Students from all backgrounds are buying into our program, and in the process, creating friendships that they wouldn't normally have. Our faculty has even shown great support for our program, asking students about their matches and offering words of encouragement to us coaches. All of this has contributed to legitimizing our sport and building respect for our students as true athletes.”
During the first year of PlayVS’ ‘Seasons,’ esports teams nationwide had an average of 15 players per program, with one in three players participating in their first-ever school activity. More than 70% of the students who participated said they found a community to connect with, and more than 40% plan on using their esports experience to apply for colleges and universities.
“It is clear the impact esports has already had on these student-athletes,” said Dr. Clint Kennedy, Director of Education & Acquisition at PlayVS. “We are excited to continue to partner with teachers and schools to empower students to pursue their dreams.”
The deadline for schools to register for this upcoming Fall season is October 11th.
For more information on PlayVS, please visit https://www.playvs.com/.
PlayVS is the premier high school esports provider, in partnership with the NFHS and 17 state associations. Its product is the single destination where players come together to compete, fans gather to spectate and coaches manage their programs. Through partnerships with top game publishers, PlayVS powers inclusive league and State Championship play across the nation. For more information, visit www.playvs.com.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. Currently, there are 414 senior high members and 287 junior high and middle school members with more than 113,000 students participating in the program. Major aims of the AHSAA are to serve the needs of its member schools in conducting their interscholastic athletic programs and to assist member schools in reaching the educational objectives as established by the membership and their school systems.
Recent articles have documented the rising costs of club sports, with one noting that about 62 percent of “travel ball” parents will go into debt to involve their kids in year-round sports.
A USA Today article in 2017 suggested that travel baseball or volleyball could cost a family upwards of $8,000 a year, with soccer running about $5,000 on the high end. A study by TD Ameritrade suggested some parents were spending about $100 to $500 a month to fund their kids’ participation on a club team, with about 20 percent spending $1,000 a month.
Why? In some cases – unquestionably the minority – students are in the elite category from a skills standpoint and could benefit from a higher level of competition in preparation for college. In most cases, however, it is a case of parents spending beyond their means with the hope that playing club sports will be the difference-maker in their children receiving an athletic scholarship to an NCAA Division I school.
It is, in fact, true that an overwhelming majority of NCAA Division I athletes played club sports. According to an NCAA survey, 92 percent of women and 89 percent of men played club basketball, and 91 percent of women’s volleyball players competed on a non-school team in high school. At the other end, however, only 24 percent of football players competed on a club team.
Herein lies the difference. There are more than 540,000 boys who played high school basketball last year and fewer than 6,000 who played basketball at the NCAA Division I level where most of the scholarships are available. Stated another way, about one percent of high school boys basketball players will play at the NCAA Division I level. About 2.8 percent of the one million-plus boys in high school 11-player football will play at the Division I level.
The answer? Parents should encourage their kids to play multiple sports for their high school teams and save the money they would spend on club sports for college tuition if scholarship money does not materialize. Even in those situations where students are charged a modest fee to participate, school-based sports remain an incredible bargain when compared to club sports.
In many cases, Division I football and basketball coaches are looking to recruit multiple-sport athletes. While there are a few sports where non-school competition is crucial, college coaches will find those athletes who excel in school-based sports.
High school-based sports have more interest, more media coverage and more fans than club sports, and the kids have more fun because they are representing their team and their community.
Playing one sport in the fall, another during the winter and yet another in the spring is the best route to future success – whether that success is on the playing field or court, or in a boardroom.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is beginning her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.
The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of long-time high school teacher and football coach Jerry Partridge, 80. He passed away September 16 after an extended illness.
A 1957 graduate of Leeds High School, Partridge began his teaching and coaching career in 1964 at West End High School. “Jerry Partridge was a major positive influence on the lives of so many,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “He was a leader that led by his life of personal example. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife of 63 years Patricia, his four children, 11 grandchildren and numerous friends.”
He began his teaching and coaching career in the Birmingham City Schools at West End High School in 1964 as an assistant coach, moved to Jones Valley and in 1969 became a head football coach at Phillips High School. After two years, he left to start the football program at Midfield High School in 1971. After two seasons he moved to Huffman as an assistant coach and five years later he became the head coach where he would remain through 1993. He retired from public school education after 1993 and spent six years at Coosa Valley Academy before retiring for good. His 89-80 record at Huffman still ranks him as the school’s all-time winningest football coach. He led the Vikings to the Class 6A state championship game in 1985.
His son David Partridge is the head football coach at Shades Valley High School.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 19, at Kilgroe Funeral Home in Leeds from noon until 2 p.m. The memorial service will follow immediately with burial to follow at Forest Crest Cemetery.
A wonderful tribute to his life can be found at the following link:
MONTGOMERY – Seven calls were challenged with one call being reversed during last week’s seven high school football games utilizing DVSport Instant Replay, said AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. For the season, 20 challenges have been issued with four calls on the field overturned after video evaluation.
Out of seven games this week, five games had challenges. The reversed play came at the Wetumpka vs. Opelika game,” said AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. “Opelika challenged a play where the Wetumpka quarterback being ruled down prior to fumbling. Upon review, video showed he fumbled and the ball was recovered by Opelika.”
Jones said that later in the same game, Wetumpka challenged a play ruled a successful pass reception, and that play stood as called on the field.
Five other challenges last week stood as originally determined by the officials.
Charles Henderson at Oxford: Charles Henderson challenged a player fumbling prior to being down.
New Smyrna (FL) at Gulf Shores: Gulf Shores, using Instant Replay for the first time, challenged if a catch called on the field had been made.
Prattville at Central-Phenix City: Prattville also challenged a catch made.
Lee-Montgomery at Auburn: Auburn challenged if a punt return had been muffed. Upon review, the play was confirmed as no muff. In the same contest, Lee-Montgomery challenged a ball breaking the plane of the goal line on two-point conversion and that play also stood as called.
The 20% reversal rate after four weeks of games dropped slightly from last week’s 23.1% season rate. DVSport Instant Replay is in its second year of implementation. The seven challenges were the most in one week this season. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular season games.
Jones reported that 20 Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:
TYPES OF CHALLENGES (20 reviews with 4 reversals, 20%)
7 Catch or no catch
7 Fumble or no fumble
4 Ball breaking the plan of the goal line (Note: also had 2 fumbles reviewed at same time)
1 Illegal participation
1 Illegal forward pass
1 Touching of a punt
A total of 34 schools have participated in AHSAA contests utilizing Instant Replay this season with seven games scheduled for this Friday. New to the Instant Replay this season will be Childersburg, Dora, Lawrence County, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Scottsboro and Tuscaloosa County. The complete list of games utilizing Instant Replay this week are listed below.
Friday, September 20
Foley at Baker
Opelika at Central Phenix City
Scottsboro at East Limestone
St. Pauls’ Episcopal at Gulf Shores
Childersburg at Handley
Dora at Lawrence County
Tuscaloosa County at Thompson
SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON
Class 7A (11)
Class 6A (9)
Class 5A (5)
Class 4A (5)
Class 3A (1)
Class 2A (1)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)
The issue of vaping has reached a crisis stage across the United States, and leaders in our nation’s schools must take immediate steps to stop the use of these electronic cigarette products by our nation’s youth – particularly the more than 12 million participants in high school athletics and performing arts programs.
On Tuesday, CBS News reported that Kansas health officials confirmed the first death in that state linked to vaping. The CBS News release stated that last week, officials in Indiana, California and Minnesota reported deaths in their states linked to vaping. Previous deaths had been reported in Illinois and Oregon.
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that public health officials confirmed two people in Idaho had developed a serious lung disease linked to vaping. The outbreak of vaping-related lung disease has sickened about 450 people in at least 33 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), causing the CDC to urge people to consider stopping vaping as the number of cases of severe lung illnesses continues to rise.
In February 2019, the CDC reported a 78 percent increase in high school students vaping from 2017 to 2018. Youth e-cigarette use has been called an epidemic by major public health officials.
Students in our nation’s schools have been sold a false bill of goods that vaping is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking – particularly by industry giant JUUL, which held a 76 percent share of the e-cigarette market at the end of 2018 and has wooed the youth market with its products that contain flavors such as cotton candy, chocolate, gummy bear, strawberry and many others.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving e-cigarette companies until sometime next year to demonstrate that their products can help people stop smoking cigarettes, leaders in our nation’s school activities programs must do everything possible to stop the use of these products by our nation’s youth now – not in 2020.
One educational tool that schools can use immediately is the online course “Understanding Vaping and E-Cigarettes” created by the NFHS with support from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. The free course is available on the NFHS Learning Center at www.NFHSLearn.com.
Several articles related to vaping will appear in the September issue of High School Today, which will be posted this week on the NFHS website (www.NFHS.org).
The AHSAA is proud to partner with the Jason Foundation, which works together with schools across the nation for the awareness and prevention of youth suicide.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month; Sept. 8-14 is National Suicide Prevention Week; and Tuesday, Sept. 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
The Jason Foundation reports that the latest CDC WISQARS National Data (2017) shows suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-14 in Alabama and third leading cause of death for ages 12-18 (middle and high-school age) and college-age youth in the state.
To learn more about recognizing risk factors or for other information, go to the Jason Foundation website found at:
http://jasonfoundation.com/ or call 615-264-2323.
Also, we want to thank University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban for providing public service videos concerning this important topic. Please feel free to use these PSAs in your school and to send out over your school’s social media platform. If your school or school system participates in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program or with any other broadcast program, please consider incorporating these videos into your school broadcast package. The link to the PSAs can be found at:
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes at your school, especially concerning this important topic.
If you have questions or need additional information, feel free to contact the AHSAA office.
234 Events Planned by NFHS Network SBP Schools Sept. 4 – Sept. 12
MONTGOMERY – Two Birmingham neighbors, Minor and Jackson-Olin high schools, will square off in the AHSAA TV Network’s Football Game of the Week Thursday night as the prep season moved to Week 2.
In addition, the NFHS Network’s AHSAA School Broadcast Program will live-stream a record 234 events over the Sept. 4-Sept. 12 time period with 111 football games, 122 volleyball matches and on swim meet scheduled already.
Jackson-Olin (1-1) and Minor (0-2) will grab the spotlight Thursday night, however, as the e second installment of the AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week. The Class 6A, Region 5 battle will be produced by NFHS Network TV partner WOTM under the direction of executive producer Vince Earley. The game will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network subscriber-based program and will also be available on the network of cable stations that have joined the WOTM Network in Alabama. Tommy Wood and Rick Rhoades will be handling the commentary for the WOTM/NFHS Network production.
Jackson-Olin’s Mustangs rolled to the school’s first perfect 10-0 regular season in 2018. Coach Tim Vakakes’ squad won the Region 5 title with a 6-0 record before losing 35-32 in the first round of 6A state playoffs to Decatur. The 10 regular-season wins surpassed the previous best established by Jackson-Olin in 1990. That team was anchored by future University of Alabama and NFL star David Palmer, who earned the state’s Mr. Football honors for that season. Leading this year’s team is Alabama commit Quandarrius Robinson, a 6foot-5, 230-pound linebacker rated among the top defensive prospects in the nation.
The Mustangs had a 12-game regular-season win streak snapped last week in a 38-12 loss to Shades Valley. Vakakes, now in his seventh season, took over a struggling program in after 2013 and has seen his team go from 1-9 the first year to last year’s 10-1 finish.
Coach Adrian Abrams is in his second season as head coach at Minor. He led the Tigers to the 6A state playoffs last season. Minor dropped a close 10-7 decision to Muscle Shoals in the first round. The Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Ramsay 21-18 in the 2019 season opener and fell 20-7 last week to Paul Bryant in another hard-fought game. Minor won the region title in 2016 with a perfect 6-0 mark and 11-2 overall record. Among the Tigers’ standouts is all-purpose back Jamari Jemison, a big-play man on offense in the backfield and at receiver.
Four varsity games are set for Thursday night with Wenonah vs. Woodlawn and Lee-Montgomery vs. Jeff Davis both set for the NFHS Network’s live-stream events. On Friday, 55 football varsity games are scheduled including five games in Class 1A; three in Class 2A; four in Class 3A; five in Class 4A; four in Class 5A; 18 in Class 6A; and 16 in Class 7A. Another NFHS Network record will be set Monday, Sept. 9 when 25 junior-varsity and nine freshman football games are live-streamed.
Volleyball is also setting records on the NFHS Network with 122 matches set over the weekend and early next week. Thursday’s slate is the largest ever for the AHSAA with 24 varsity matches and 22 junior-varsity matches for a total of 46 events planned by AHSAA member schools in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program.
Among the top matches will be Addison at Hatton, Enterprise at Auburn, John Carroll Catholic at Mountain Brook and Pelham at Brewer. The 234 total surpasses last week’s previous record-setting total (177) by 57 events.
The complete AHSAA schedule of events set to be livestreamed over the NFHS Network tonight through September 12 can be found at the following link:
A subscription allows the viewer access to any events on the NFHS Network. Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. For more information on how to subscribe, go to the following link:
For information concerning the AHSAA TV Network’s cable availability, got to the following link:
177 Events Planned by NFHS Network SBP Schools Aug. 29-Sept. 5
Hueytown vs. Helena Tonight in AHSAA Game of the Week
MONTGOMERY – The NFHS Network’s AHSAA School Broadcast Program will live-stream six varsity football games tonight, including Helena at Hueytown in the AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week. The game, produced by NFHS Network TV partner WOTM, will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network subscriber-based program and will also be available on the network of cable stations that have joined the Network in Alabama.
Hueytown (1-0) hosts Helena (1-0) in tonight’s AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week. Tommy Wood and Rick Rhoades will be handling the commentary for the WOTM/NFHS Network production.
Sixty-five varsity football games will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network Friday and Saturday with 105 varsity, junior varsity, freshman and middle school games planned from tonight through next Thursday. Varsity games make up 77 of that total.
In addition, 70 varsity and junior varsity volleyball contests are scheduled to be live-streamed through Sept. 5, one cross country meet and one swim meet for a total of 177 events for the week. Schools will be live-streaming seven varsity and seven junior varsity volleyball matches tonight.
AHSAA member schools live-streamed 47 events last year during that same time span, we are seeing a whopping increase of 361%. The NFHS Network also live-streamed 55 events last week for a total of 232 events in the first two weekends of the 2019-20 school year.
The AHSAA ranked eighth nationally in the NFHS Network last school year with 2,762 events live-streamed – an average of approximately 230 events per month. With last weekend’s totals and this week’s totals, AHSAA member schools will have surpassed last year’s average by Sept. 1.
“A big reason for the amazing increase we are seeing is the NFHS Network’s push to provide schools with Pixellot cameras at a very reasonable cost,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “The special camera can be mounted permanently in a stadium or gymnasium and can video any events in those stadiums automatically. Several of our school systems took advantage of the offer and signed up all their schools.”
The NFHS Network School Broadcast Program provides excellent exposure for school programs as well as opportunities for students to participate in AHSAA events as members of the broadcast production team at each school. Schools can also generate much-needed revenue from advertising sold as well as subscriptions to the Network.
“Schools tell us the most important reason they participate in the NFHS Network’s School Broadcast Program is because it allows those who are unable to attend the games a chance to see their children and grandchildren participate,” Savarese said. “We have received testimonials from our soldiers stationed around the world and from and others who are telling us how much they appreciate this service which allows them to watch the games live. We are extremely proud of how our schools have made the NFHS Network their own.”
Among the school systems that joined the NFHS Network this summer are Mobile County and Jefferson County schools systems.
The complete AHSAA schedule of events set to be livestreamed over the NFHS Network tonight through September 5 can be found at the following link:
A subscription allows the viewer access to any events on the NFHS Network. Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. For more information on how to subscribe, go to the following link:
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