Posts Tagged ‘Competitive Sports’
When Michael Houser was born with bilateral club feet, one doctor told his family he would have trouble walking, much less participating in competitive sports. Nineteen years and 16 corrective surgeries later, Houser is perhaps hours away from hearing his name called during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Houser, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound goaltender from Wexford, is a late-round possibility in the draft, which will be conducted tonight and Saturday at Consol Energy Center. He was named the Canadian Hockey Leagues goaltender of the year after a season in which he posted a 46-15-1 record with six shutouts for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Being named the top junior goaltender in Canada is quite an accomplishment, but that achievement pales in comparison to the journey Houser had getting to this point in his career.
Houser endured 16 procedures on each foot. The first 15 occurred when he was between 3 days old and 3 years old. The final two surgeries took place when he was 12.
The latter two are the only procedures he can recall. When the rest of his friends were spending their summer days playing outside, Houser was at home with both feet in casts, propped up in a wheelchair.
By that time, Houser had already overcome steep odds to play competitive hockey with the North Pittsburgh Wildcats organization. Some in the medical profession viewed his condition as a handicap, but his parents searched for a doctor who would not place limitations on him.
My mother finally found a doctor in Akron who said he could work with them, said Houser, who was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and moved here in the fourth grade. Theyre still not perfect, but theyre much better than what they were.
Houser still has some limitations, but none that have prevented him from becoming one of North Americas top goalie prospects. He is rated as the No. 16 North American goalie by the NHLs Central Scouting Bureau.
Houser played for the Pittsburgh Hornets when he was a student at Shady Side Academy in seventh and eighth grade, but like most elite prospects from this area, moved away before high school to face better competition. He moved in with an aunt and uncle in Detroit and played for Little Caesars hockey before moving on to Iowa to play for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the United States Hockey League in 2008. He played for London the past three seasons.
NHL teams have passed him over in previous years, but he is coming off his best season. He led London to the OHL championship, had a 2.47 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Houser said NHL teams know enough about him by now that his medical condition isnt an issue.
Ive had enough meetings with teams and Ive done the fitness testing for teams, he said. Pretty much everything is normal except my running. Everything else is fine. There is nothing in hockey that I cant do. I can move from side to side in the crease. I can run, but its not smooth like other people can run.
Houser is one of only four players with local ties who have a chance to be drafted. This comes a year after four local players were selected in the first three rounds.
Other hopefuls include Henrik Samuelsson, the son of former Penguin Ulf Samuelsson who moved away from the area when he was 2; and Washington, Pa., natives Riley Barber and Travis Jeke.
Samuelsson is the highest-rated prospect followed by Barber, whose family moved to Michigan when he was in the seventh grade in order for him to pursue hockey seriously.
Barber (6-0, 194 pounds) is the son of Don Barber, who played in the NHL for four teams from 1988-92. Don Barber met his future wife, Stacy, a Washington, Pa., native, and settled here after his playing days were over.
As a young player, Riley Barber played with the Pittsburgh Hornets alongside JT Miller and Vincent Trocheck, who were drafted in the first and third rounds last year.
Barber, a right winger, has risen in the draft rankings this spring after a strong finish to his season with the U18 national team in Ann Arbor, Mich. Barber is rated No. 86 among North American skaters after a No. 141 ranking last year.
I didnt get off to the kind of start I wanted to, but toward the end of the year I started to catch fire, said Barber, who finished with 20 goals and 15 assists in 56 games for the Team USA U18 squad. My strengths are my shot and my speed. Im a really good skater. I know how the game is played and how to make plays. Now, its all about my consistency game in and game out.
Barber will play next season at Miami University in Ohio. His family will remain in Michigan for his younger brothers hockey career, but other family members remain in Washington.
Despite moving to Red Wings country in middle school, Barber remained an ardent Penguins fan. He was in attendance at Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup final and saw his favorite team win the Cup.
Barber hasnt had much contact with the Penguins, but he heard through the grapevine that they like his game. Being drafted by the club would be a dream come true, he said.
Jeke (6-4, 205 pounds) is a late-blooming offensive defenseman who made the switch from forward two years ago while playing for the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY
Jeke is a skilled offensive player with good hands and vision. His main drawback is his lack of experience on the blue line. In 43 games last season for Northwood, Jeke scored 10 goals and had 21 assists with 40 penalty minutes.
Jeke was not considered an elite prospect as a forward, but he has impressed college and professional scouts since moving to defense. He will attend Boston College on scholarship in the fall and has an outside shot at being drafted.
He is rated No. 184 among North American skaters.
Jeke and his family lived in Washington until he was 6 years old. The family moved to Erie and then Livonia, Mich., but has since relocated in Shaler.
Jeke, who turned 19 last week, has tickets to the draft and plans to attend. The only question now is whether he will be a spectator or participant.
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June 23, 2012
Title IX has been credited with opening competitive sports to millions of American girls and women. Host Scott Simon talks with three-time Olympic gold medalist-turned law professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar about the law’s impact. Hogshead-Makar teaches federal gender-equity law at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Though Title IX encompasses many aspects of education, most people associate the law with athletics. Title IX’s been credited with opening competitive sports to millions of American girls and women. For more now, we’re joined by Nancy Hogshead-Makar. She’s a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer, former president of Women’s Sports Foundation, and she’s now a professor teaching federal gender-equity law at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She joins us on the line from Kenilworth, Illinois. Thanks so much for being with us.
NANCY HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Thank you for having me.
SIMON: You were a gold medal swimmer in the 1984 Summer Games.
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: I sure was – three gold medals.
SIMON: So, how did you become a competitive swimmer? Do you think Title IX played a role?
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Oh, no doubt about it. When I was 14 years old, I was actually ranked number one in the world. And a reporter asked at that time, they said, hey, you’re going to train for the 1980 Olympics, which were three years away. And I said, well, sure, you know, don’t women physically peak right around the age of 17 to 18? I knew women quit right around 17 or 18, but I just thought it was because their bodies gave out. Fast forward two or three years, and suddenly it was like in 1978, 1979, it was like a match got lit to the country and suddenly, whoosh, just lots of sports opportunities opened up. And I could’ve gone to college just about anywhere I wanted to go on full scholarship.
SIMON: Are there still barriers to women in sports, as far as you’re concerned?
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: In every measurable criteria women lag behind men, whether you’re talking about number for participation opportunities – girls are about 1.3 million opportunities behind boys in high school and 50,000 in college.
SIMON: The benefits of participating in organized sports for men or women are so widespread you want them to be open to women, too.
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Absolutely. Because what Title IX has taught us is it’s given us an opportunity to look at what a sports experience means for a kid. So looking at – what happens to those women who – do they get more education? Do they go into non-traditional fields? Are they in the workforce full-time? And the answers to all those are yes.
There’s no reasons to think those same things wouldn’t be true for boys as well but Title IX have given scientists and social scientists this opportunity to be able to study and be able to say from a causation standpoint that sports isn’t just associated with better education, better long-term health, more full-time workforce, but it actually causes it.
SIMON: There has been a complaint that one of the maybe unintended effects of Title IX, when it comes to high school and collegiate sports, has been that whenever the millions of women who’ve been able to participate it’s also meant quotas and the curtailment of sports that are important to people but considered relatively minor. And I’m thinking of, for example, of fencing and wrestling.
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: I have a couple of responses to that. One, is that for both boys and girls sports participation are at all time highs for both high school and college. So this idea that women sports are taking away from men’s sports is just empirically not true. My second response is that I have three beautiful children. I have a boy who’s 11, twin girls who are 6. When my son was born for those first five years he enjoyed the royal treatment. He got all of our attention, all of our resources. When the girls came along he got less. Now, he’s not being discriminated against because of his gender; he has to share family resources with a bigger pool of people.
So it’s unethical for schools to blame Title IX when there is some kind of budget crisis and they do have to cut something, any more than it would be unethical for me to blame my daughters to my son when he says, hey, how come I don’t get to play another sport?
SIMON: Eleven and 6 is still fairly young but do you foresee your children becoming athletes?
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Oh, absolutely. I think it is one of the most important things…
SIMON: Well, they are the son and daughters of an Olympic gold medalist, but…
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Right. I think I’m going to do with my kids exactly what my parents did with all three of us kids, which was we don’t care what sport you play, but you’ve got to find one. The most important thing that I got out of my swimming career is not the gold medals; the most important thing I got is that I did it.
I went to practice on days that I did not want to with every cell in my body. But I was committed to something bigger than being in a good mood on any one particular day.
SIMON: Nancy Hogshead-Makar is an Olympic gold medalist and law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, speaking with us about the impact of Title IX. Thanks so much.
HOGSHEAD-MAKAR: Thank you very much for having me on.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.
- Character Building In Competitive Sports, Real Or Imaginary?
- Good Sportsmanship through Character A MUST SEE!!!
- Inspiration Knows No Gender Bounds: My Top 6 Inspirational Stories of Female Athletes
- Part I: Nine Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness
- Part II: Nine Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness
- Process Over Outcome: Has America Forgotten?
- Things Your Kids Didnt Learn in School And Our Current Sports Environment
- July 2012
- June 2012
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Sweating isn’t feminine. That’s just one of the goofy myths about women that for centuries helped keep them out of competitive sports in America.
But, once women runners were allowed on the track, they went a long way, baby. Women’s sports have evolved at an astonishing rate, especially since Congress passed the law commonly called Title IX that bans sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.
Looking for a way to stay involved in competitive sports, three former Teche Area high school athletes found what they were looking for in a most unlikely place.
Answering a tryout call last fall, Brodie LeJeune, Colin Sandoz and Dylan Thibodeaux soon found themselves playing a sport they’d never played after becoming members of the second-year lacrosse team at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
They couldn’t be happier about their decision, the three said, and plan to play for the Lone Star Alliance Division II runner-up team again next year.
“My friend Colin, we were talking about (playing lacrosse) before the season, and I was actually going to wait till next year to try out, and just practice on my own,” said LeJeune, who earned first-team All-District and Daily Iberian Best of the Teche baseball honors at Catholic High. “I wanted to stay competitive. I just can’t stay home and do nothing. Also, it’s an awesome sport.”
Sandoz, who was a state tennis quarterfinalist at Loreauville High, wanted to try out this year because he was in his second year in college already. The two went out for the team, along with Thibodeaux, a friend of LeJeune’s and a former Jeanerette Senior High baseball player.
LeJeune said he actually was surprised that the three made the squad, which is comprised primarily of former high school players from St. Thomas More in Lafayette, along with several former prep players from the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas.
All three local players had watched lacrosse games on television, and LeJeune had seen a few first-hand at STM, and knew some of the players on the Ragin’ Cajuns team beforehand. Tryouts consisted of performing basic skills, such as catching and throwing, as well as speed drills, said Sandoz.
Lacrosse, a game of Native American origin played using a rubber ball and a long-handled stick with a net on the end, is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US, according to a study by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association in 2011 — up 37.3 percent from the previous year and 218.1 percent in the previous decade. Still comparatively small at 1.6 million American participants in 2011, the sport is nonetheless growing in popularity, as shown by the Lone Star Alliance, which features 11 Division I teams and nine Division II teams representing Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. LSU, Texas Aamp;M, Texas and Oklahoma are among the LSA’s Division I teams, while the Cajuns are in Division II with such schools as Oklahoma State, Texas-San Antonio and Trinity University.
The biggest adjustment for the three local players for the Cajuns, outside of learning the rules, is the physical play involved.
“It’s a totally different atmosphere,” said Sandoz. “It’s the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve ever had playing a sport. It’s definitely the most physical sport I’ve ever played. You come home with cuts and bruises from every practice.
“It’s hockey on feet.”
“I didn’t really play contact sports,” said Thibodeaux. “The first time I got hit, I was surprised at how physical it was.”
But he liked the physical aspect of the game, as does LeJeune — even if their mothers aren’t crazy about it.
“She’s a typical mom,” said Sandoz of his mother. “She’s never going to stop worrying.”
But she does attend games, as do all their families, and even takes photos — she’s a professional photographer.
“My mom was shocked” by the physical nature of the game, said Thibodeaux. “The first game she came to, she kind of freaked out. She couldn’t believe it was a sport where people just beat on each other with sticks.”
LeJeune, who started as a midfielder like his two friends before volunteering to play goalie when the team’s starting goalkeeper was unable to finish the season, said the rules of the game allow a defenseman to hit anyone on the field, as long as they have the ball.
A goalkeeper can’t be hit as long as he’s in the crease, an 18-foot diameter circle around the goal, which is 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. If he strays out of the crease with the ball, however, he’s fair game just like any other player.
The goalkeeper also has the unenviable task of trying to stop a hard rubber ball whizzing at him at speeds of up to 110 miles an hour from a distance of less than 15 feet away. Needless to say there are plenty of bumps, bruises and more serious injuries for players who typically wear helmets with face and neck guards, as well as gloves, shoulder pads and elbow protection but little else in the way of padding.
“I know I’m going to get hit at least four times a game,” said LeJeune, who started between the pipes the final four games of the season.
But it’s that very aspect of the game, the physical contact and speed, that is a big component of their attraction to the game, said Sandoz.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s such an adrenaline rush. It’s something new and exciting. I try to get as many people out to watch (games) as I can. Even though they don’t know the rules, they tell me they like it.”
Sandoz said he picked up the basics of the game pretty quickly from what he read on the Internet, and teammates with more playing experience have provided help on some of the finer points of the game, which features 10 players per side — three attack, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalie. A total of four players per team — typically defenders or midfielders — can use a long stick (52-72 inches long) while the remaining players use a short stick (40-42 inches long). The field is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide.
“One thing I really noticed about the rest of the team, being that we were going into this really fresh, I’ve found our teammates were really helpful,” said Sandoz.
Former STM player Byrnes Tatford started the team in 2010. As a club sport, the team receives only a limited amount of funds from the school, in this case $5,000.
That didn’t come close to covering expenses such as equipment costs, field fees, referees fees and travel expenses like charter buses and hotel rooms, so the players and their families have to raise funds in a variety of ways.
But the Cajuns showed dramatic improvement this year, moving from last place in the division to second place.
The Cajuns were one of only two teams in the LSA to have a positive goals for to goals against ratio.
“I think it was a surprise to other people,” said Thibodeaux of the team’s success.
“It was definitely exciting for me,” said Sandoz. “I know last season was quite a doozy. It just felt great being part of something like that. Teams didn’t want to schedule us because they figured we’d be just as bad as last season. We talked some teams into playing us.”
Narrow losses to Division I teams LSU (17-12), Texas Aamp;M (17-16), Ole Miss (16-7) and Arkansas (11-9) bolstered the team’s confidence. UL-Lafayette beat St. Edward’s 14-3 in the Division II semifinals before taking on two-time defending champion Sam Houston State in the finals. The Bearkats won 19-6, but the Cajuns had served notice they will be a team to contend with in the future.
LeJeune, Sandoz and Thibodeaux plan to be in the mix with the Cajuns. LeJeune and Sandoz have already signed up for a summer men’s lacrosse league in Lafayette.
“It’s just exciting to play,” said LeJeune, who is asked by people about the game just about everywhere he goes. He’s taken to bringing his lacrosse stick with him to show it to the curious. “It takes a lot of skill.”
Thibodeaux is enthusiastic about returning next year, even though as a newcomer to the sport he didn’t get a whole lot of playing time this season.
“I think the team (is the best part of playing lacrosse),” he said, adding that he needs to get bigger. “They never bring you down. “It’s the best team I’ve every played for.”
Since the passage of Title IX, the number of girls who compete in high school sports has grown ten-fold–from fewer than 300,000 in 1972 to over three million in 2011. Moreover, collegiate athletic programs experienced a six-fold increase in the number of female athletes over the past 40 years. The number of young males playing sports has also increased as a result of Title IX, as more opportunities have been made available at all levels of play.
Despite the many important advancements spurred by Title IX, our nation still has a long way to go before female athletes compete on a level playing field with males. Unequal access, financial assistance and treatment for girls and women in sports still exist in too many communities and educational institutions, and these disparities are often more prevalent among minority and underserved populations, including people with disabilities.
The availability of athletic scholarships dramatically increases a young woman’s ability to pursue a college education and to choose from a wider range of colleges and universities. We also know that competitive sports programs promote greater academic and employment success, improved personal skills and a variety of health benefits for women and girls. Unfortunately girls and women still have fewer opportunities to participate in school sports than their male counterparts, and female athletes still do not receive an equal share of athletic scholarship dollars.
Legendary civil rights leader and tennis champion, Billie Jean King, is one of the most outspoken advocates of Title IX and educational institutions’ full adherence to the law. We are proud to have Billie Jean as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports amp; Nutrition. Her unparalleled accomplishments, and her dedication to promoting the myriad benefits of Title IX, are an ongoing reminder of the importance of achieving gender equity in all parts of our society.
To learn more about the Title IX, visit www.fitness.gov.
Maritza Nava isnt one to talk up about her athletic feats.
If you ask her about the number of goals she scored in field hockey and soccer, shell tell you she has no a clue. If you ask what it meant to be recognized as league MVP, shell talk about her team.
Those things werent what brought the recent North Salinas High graduate out for competitive sports.
It was pure love that fueled her.
Shes a very shy girl, North Salinas girls varsity soccer coach Luis Torrez said. Shes not one of those players who make it about themselves. Her voice is what she does on the field. Shes a humble athlete. She really just loves to play. Thats the kind person she is.
North Salinas field hockey coach Stanley Marple got three productive years from Nava, and wishes he had at least one more.
Shes one of those strong-minded girls, Marple said. She just loves competing and getting better and better.
Shes very dedicated to whatever she does. She always gave it her all; you could count on that 100 percent.
In her senior season, Navas play spoke the loudest. Her ability to impact a game and make those around her better make her The Salinas Californians Female Athlete of the Year.
Upon receiving the news of that honor, Nava seemed genuinely taken aback. After a few seconds she said: Thank you so much.
In field hockey, she scored 24 goals to go along with 16 assists in helping the Vikings to their second straight Mission Trail Athletic League title. She was named the leagues MVP.
In soccer, she scored a team-leading 14 goals to go along with four assists, playing every single position for North Salinas. She was named Tri-County Athletic League first team for the third time, and was The Californians Player of the Year.
I think it was the best year, said Nava of her athletic contributions as a senior. I was focused on being the best I can be. After my junior year I just remember thinking I need to go hard and do as much as possible.
Built to make plays
As a sophomore, Nava had very little knowledge of field hockey. But that didnt last long.
Veikkaus CEO: Big risk of financial crime in competitive sports
The outgoing chief executive of the state lottery company Veikkaus, Risto Nieminen, says criminals are increasingly targeting lower division sports for money-making opportunities. His comments came during the money laundering trial of two bosses from a Pori football club.
Vicarious Liability for Personal Injury in Competitive Sport
15 June 2012
Personal injury claims relating to injuries suffered during competitive sports are an area of interest to many, although relatively few high profile claims are brought. The most notable is that of former West Ham United forward Dean Ashton, who instigated proceedings against Shaun Wright-Phillips and Chelsea Football Club after suffering a broken ankle in 2006. The matter was eventually settled out of court.
Injuries suffered on the field of play are a common occurrence in many sports and at all levels. The courts appreciate that such injuries must be considered in a sporting context and have traditionally grappled with the issue as to when liability should be incurred. It is undoubtedly a difficult issue, with the merits of each case being heavily dependent on their own particular facts.
If it can be clearly established that an injury was the result of the negligence of another competitor during a sporting event, it is necessary to consider whether the competitor who caused the injury is personally liable, or whether the club is vicariously responsible for the negligence of the player. In order for vicarious liability to arise, the club and the player must have an employer/employee relationship.
The leading authority on vicarious liability is the 2001 House of Lords case of Lister v Hesley Hall Ltd (2001), where it was held that the key issue to be considered when considering whether an employer is vicariously liable is whether the negligent act in question was so closely connected to the defendants employment that it would be fair for the employer to be held responsible. Where vicarious liability can not be established, the player is likely to be personally liable for the injury caused to the claimant.
By Aasim Durrani. Aasim is a Trainee Solicitor at Lawdit and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, NY. (Daniel Johnson, Missouri Sports Magazine) According to an MSN story, a new study has found that breast cancer survivors can improve their heart’s health and reduce the chances of a relapse by participating in competitive sports. Dr. Marvell Scott, creator of the Performance Health Program, said it is imperative patients consider heart rate-based training to get the most of their training program. This is even more important for individuals recovering from breast cancer, he said.
Sports Medicine Center researchers discovered high-level exercise was associated with a longer survival rate. One sport that is gaining more popularity among the breast cancer survivor community is dragon boat racing, which offers a great upper body workout. In Italy, researchers studied 30 dragon boat racers who underwent breast cancer treatment for one year. The researchers then followed the racers for four years. The heart function of each woman was studied at the beginning and end of the year and then contrasted with healthy female racers. The results showed that the heart function of all cancer survivors was in a normal range. Their resting heart rate was even lower after training for four years.
Dr. Marvell Scott believes the results proved sports can enhance an individual’s heart function, which is something he stresses with all his patients. At Performance Health, almost all of our patients undergo metabolic testing in the beginning of their program to see both their resting heart rate and active/VO2 max, which is a measurement that reflects a person’s ability to perform a sustained exercise, he said.
Dr. Laura Stefani, lead researcher in the study, said cancer diagnosis and treatment undoubtedly take a toll on the body and its physical stamina.
This study suggests that competitive sports activity has a positive impact on myocardial performance in women with breast cancer, she said. Equally important, long-term competitive sport activity appears to have no negative impact on their cardiovascular performance.
The study was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting last month in San Francisco, Calif. The findings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. Regardless, Dr. Marvell Scott said the study did prove a correlation between exercise and heart function in breast cancer.
Having breast cancer survivors not only beat cancer, but continue their active lifestyle, improve their heart function and reduce the chance of relapse is extraordinary, Dr. Marvell Scott said.
ABOUT: Dr. Marvell Scott, a sports medicine specialist, founded the Performance Health Program. He develops personalized care plans that utilize a variety of treatments to improve the health and fitness of his patients. He can create treatment plans that fit the individual needs of patients to overcome injuries and reduce symptoms associated with chronic medical conditions. For more information about Dr. Marvell Scott, visit www.performancehealthnyc.com.
SOURCE Dr. Marvell Scott