Unified Sports & MORE
Unified Sport p. 12
See Highlights, Championship Photos and More..
Individual and Team Winners
Provincial Cross Country Results
Cold Lake Bocce Tournament
Milk Scholarship Winners
Pay It Forward Scholarship Winners
Provincial Golf Results
Executive Director CIAAA
Sr. Assistant Director
Lift where you stand: On School Athletes and Coach Your School Community’s Students.
In the news media world they strongly advise that you don’t bury the lead. Get the most important point out right away. So, here’s the lead, students, families, coaches and schools should do everything they can to ensure that students stay in the same high school for grades 10 through 12. Parents and students need to do their homework in grade 9 before committing to a high school for the next three years. As a general rule, can I suggest you make your local school the great first choice. Students, you are the key to your high school experience. Students should not transfer schools during high school. As a long-time high school teacher and administrator, I’d suggest to parents if at all possible don’t move during the high school years at all, the transition is harder than we think. Let me be very clear here, any coach that encourages students to transfer… that is simply a clear violation of the ASAA code of ethics. I believe quite firmly that a student athlete’s professional or even college/university playing career will not hinge on whether you transfer to a specific high school.
As I write this I’m bouncing back and forth between the Alberta Bowl ASAA Football Championship games and the 3A Boys Volleyball games. Championship weekend in each of the ASAA sports is really a great time to be involved in high school sports as teams from across the province gather in the pursuit of excellence. This weekend with 10 - 12 teams in each of 8 volleyball draws and 10 football teams competing in the final of 6 man and 4 Tiers of football we have 102 teams pursuing a total of 13 championships. Like I said, it’s a great time to celebrate our student athletes, and athletic programs at all levels across the province. So many great student athletes, some extremely good at their sport, others still developing and contributing where they can, how they can. Most importantly they have the opportunity because of where they live, their own interests, the support of parents, community and the schools they attend. It’s really pretty great.
Over the past several years as I’ve served as the ASAA Football Commissioner, Vice-President, President and now Past President I’ve had opportunity to ponder our policies and most specifically sit on a record number of transfer related conversations. Those conversations come to the ASAA Executive in the way of appeal hearings where student athletes, their parents on occasion, and some combination of athletic director, coach, and school administrator gather with at least five ASAA Executive Appeal Committee members to make their case as to why they should be allowed to transfer schools contrary to the ruling of our Compliance Officer who reviews all transfer requests in an effort to ensure that students are legitimately transferring for very specific reasons none of which are to be for an improved (in their opinion) athletic opportunity. In short no one is supposed to be switching schools after their grade 10 year for sports.
As an ASAA Executive we’ve had enough concerns about what has been shared in these transfer situations that this past year the board of the ASAA with representation from across the province unanimously passed a motion to add an “Honest and Full Disclosure” section to our code of ethics and transfer policy. I can tell you point blank that over the years the panel has been misled if not blatantly lied to on occasion and that has necessitated the policy change. I know we cannot legislate integrity, but it is part of learning to be a leader and it’s most definitely a component of sportsmanship. Today, according to policy the ASAA can reverse a transfer approval if it is determined “afterwards if omitted or dishonest information is discovered or if a party (student, school or family) is found to not be in compliance with statements or considerations” they shared during the transfer application or appeal process.
In a nutshell you say your family is moving to city A, it’s your grade 12 year and you don’t want to disrupt your education so in spite of the fact the move isn’t official yet statements are made as part of the appeal that the move is a certainty and will happen in a timely fashion that supports the decision to approve the transfer. Under the new policy if the move does not take place, the transfer can be reversed and denied once it is clear no move is occurring even if that is the week before zones or provincials. You say you must have Latin to support your post-secondary studies,) and the school you are transferring to offers Latin, but a few weeks, a month or later you drop Latin. Your ability to play sports at your new school will be curtailed.
Why would the ASAA prevent a student athlete from participating? We’re not, you are more than welcome to continue playing at your present school. If the conditions for the move to the school are approved you may play there as well AND if it is determined to be an athletically motivated transfer you can also sit out a year, like they do in college, and then play. Obviously, the last case applies to those who transfer following grade 10.
Can I add one more key point for parents, athletes, coaches and AD’s to keep in mind. Every transfer affects two people. For the most part in a transfer hearing coaches, Athletic Directors and parents talk about the player seeking the transfer as “NEEDING” this opportunity, they plan on playing college or university, or they love the sport and it’s what keeps them in school. Once again, I point out they have that sport in these instances at the school they were previously attending. We’re not talking about students who have no basketball, volleyball or football, etc., at their school and are trying to go to a school that has that sport. What no one is talking about in these instances is that the school the student is transferring to already has players, student athletes who have been at the school all along and are planning on playing.
Put it this way. A basketball game is 40 minutes long and five players play at a time. There are 200 minutes total (assuming no overtime) to be divided across the team. A student who is transferring into the school to play basketball, regardless of the validity of the transfer, is definitely going to impact at least one other player on the team. Someone has to lose minutes for the new player to play. When the transfer is ultimately about sport, and not the reasons presented in the application supporting the transfer student, it penalizes the students legitimately at the school, living in the community. All students are important and every decision we make as a provincial organization is about ensuring the most equitable opportunity for all students to experience high school athletics. To be sure I recognize that if one athlete leaves a school another student at that school gets an opportunity to play, or more time. Before we say ah ha see it’s good, let’s consider one other scenario the player leaves for a better sport opportunity from a small school program, as a result that program can no longer function at all, not enough players. Lift where you stand, embrace your opportunity.
What’s the solution you ask? First thanks for reading this long into the column. Here’s my ten cents on the sunset horizon of my career.
a) Choose wisely where you are going to attend high school, if you live in a community with options, choose wisely for you in consultation with your family as you leave grade 9 and enter grade 10. Stick with your commitment and be a great student and athlete where you are.
b) Be honest in all you do, including honest to your values and beliefs…your life will not dramatically improve if you go to a “better” team or “better” school at the cost of your integrity and core beliefs.
c) If your family has to move, as mine did at the end of grade 11 back when dinosaurs freely roamed the land, then attend the school closest to where you move, sink your roots and contribute to that team and community as best you can.
d) Yes, Club, or All-Star teammates are great, some of them are really talented and fun to play with; learn everything you can from them and then go back to your home school and help everyone at your school get better from what you’ve learned on club or all-star teams. A rising tide floats all boats.
e) Coaches, particularly those of you who coach on the many provincial all-star or club teams, in the various sports but particularly football, volleyball, basketball (and track in the larger city programs). When a player/athlete asks about your program, particularly a student that is already in another high school, don’t add to the problem. Encourage them to stay with their school, their family, their community. If they’re that good then rather than leaving the door open in their mind for a transfer how about using your connections to college and university by alerting your coaching friends at that level about the kid in Fox Creek that jumps out of the gym, rather than having that kid think he needs to get to the big program to get to the next level. It is very important to consider both what AND how we communicate with students/athletes and their parents.
f) I think every parent should read the Matheny Manifesto, a couple of times. PDF version, or full book. There’s much to ponder but it would help every coach and student athlete.
g) We truly love the great support we receive from parents on the teams we coach, but please remember EVERY student deserves an equitable opportunity. The grass is truly not always greener on the other side. That sure thing championship at the school you want your teenager to attend is far from a sure thing, and really it will not matter in the greater scheme of things.
I don’t think we’ll ever get the transfer process perfect. I hear administrators say, “if he/she doesn’t want to be in our school, we don’t want him/her to be here…” as they sign a transfer request. It shouldn’t get to that point, truly no one wins in that situation.
Choose wisely and celebrate the experiences and friendships where you are.
To advocate involvement in school sport as an integral part of education and to provide governance of inter school sport activities for high school students through fair play and equal opportunity.
Program Director Unified Sports
By Rick Gilson,
PAST PRESIDENT, ASAA EXECUTIVE
Milk Scholarship Winners
The 2019 ASAA Golf Provincials were held in Central Alberta specifically Alberta Springs Golf Course & Innisfail Golf Course. The Host school was École Secondaire Notre Dame High School of Red Deer, Alberta. The athletes were treated to some decent weather for this time of year, and two beautiful golf courses. The players Teed off on time with no weather delays and scores were pretty good on the first day.
After play Monday night everyone attended the banquet held at Notre Dame High School. The food was amazing. The guest speaker was excellent – he reminded us to keep on playing, be true to ourselves and the game. Tons of door prizes were awarded and all in all everyone had a good night.
The final day was also played in some decent conditions (for late September). A little cold spell rolled through but it did not last the day and by the end of the day things were great for the long drives home.
Congratulations to all the victors, and to all the participants- THANK YOU for making this a great event!
Host-Notre Dame High
Silver -cole bergheim
bronze - Alexa wingnean
bronze - alex gerrard, ethan choi
Gold - our lady of mount pleasant
Gold - Strathcona
Silver - hunting hills
Silver - Strathcona-Tweedsmuir
Gold - monsignor mccoy
Gold - Jenna Bruggeman
Silver -mackenzie baustad
Gold - West Island College
Bronze- Catholic Central
silver - west Island college
Bronze - st. paul regional
Bronze - Alix-Mac
Gold - Hunter Thomson
2019 ASAA Golf Provincials
Hosted by Notre Dame, Red Deer
silver - Notre Dame, calgary
Cross Country Sportsmanship Award Recipiants:
Alvero Ibama Solis
Cross Country 2019
Riley Van Vilet
Top PARA Athletes
Parkland Immanuel Christian
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute
The year’s edition of the ASAA Cross Country Running Provincial Championship saw Eagle Butte High School from the South Zone host the Fall Classic for the second time in eight years at a wonderful venue in Echo Dale Regional Park. The weather was fantastic and therefore the course was in outstanding condition. It lent itself to some phenomenal individual athletic battles over the seven events. Those events saw 750 runners compete for themselves and their school. They were supported by over 190 coaches, 500 spectators and 130 volunteers. A special thank you to all the volunteers who made this event so special.
The course was carved out of the coulee and prairie at Echo Dale. It was a tough and demanding course for all runners resulting in each athlete having to give it their best. The determination and grit was evident as they negotiated the up hills and down hills to push themselves to the ultimate goal of a personal triumph (be it a time or feeling that they ran their absolute best) and the satisfaction that they left everything out on the course. In some cases there were on a handful of seconds separating a group of 20 runners at the finish line.
As well, the team battles were full of drama as multiple lead changes happened during the 6 different races in each category, and not until the final points were tallied did organizers and teams actually know the final results for the team categories.
There were also some fantastic acts of sportsmanship that were specifically recognized and some that were not. For example gesture by a passing athlete reaching her hand back to another athlete that she was passing and then verbally saying “Come stay with me and let's finish this race!” I will never forget that moment as an organizer.
A special thank you to Les, Mark, Jason, Marvin, Jimi, Marilyn and Rebecca for their outstanding effort with the organization committee.
Darryl Smith, Cross Country Running Provincial Chairperson