Article Comment: NCHSAA 4A State Meet Recap
05/20/2014 8:08:10 AM
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The coaches association needs to address the able bodied and disabled athlete issue. Having disabled athletes score points in an arbitrary manner is a travesty. It creates an unfair playing field and will motivate coaches to use this loophole and tarnish the able bodied meet. The NCHSAA should setup a disabled/handicapped state meet championship where they compete against other disabled/handicapped athletes. It will cost them a few bucks for the trophy. I am no lawyer but I am sure that this has been covered in the ADA and other states have addressed this issue.
The coaches association needs to address the able bodied and disabled athlete issue. Having disabled athletes score points in an arbitrary manner is a travesty. It creates an unfair playing field and will motivate coaches to use this loophole and tarnish the able bodied meet. The NCHSAA should setup a disabled/handicapped state meet championship where they compete against other disabled/handicapped athletes. It will cost them a few bucks for the trophy. I am no lawyer but I am sure that this has been covered in the ADA and other states have addressed this issue.
05/20/2014 8:38:41 AM
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@tonyjdai Why do you think the scoring was arbitrary? If the athletes competed in separate events with appropriate standards, why would there be an ADA issue? This was not a problem several years ago when one competed in 3A and another competed in 4A and scored for their team. Now it's an issue? Because two young men (one a freshman and the other a senior who competed and scored before) were on a state championship squad? Because another young man competed in four events and scored for his team? Please explain further, because the NCHSAA laid out how they would score and how the athletes would compete and it seems fair to me. I think other coaches should open their programs to more of our disabled students and try to be more inclusive.
@tonyjdai Why do you think the scoring was arbitrary? If the athletes competed in separate events with appropriate standards, why would there be an ADA issue? This was not a problem several years ago when one competed in 3A and another competed in 4A and scored for their team. Now it's an issue? Because two young men (one a freshman and the other a senior who competed and scored before) were on a state championship squad? Because another young man competed in four events and scored for his team? Please explain further, because the NCHSAA laid out how they would score and how the athletes would compete and it seems fair to me. I think other coaches should open their programs to more of our disabled students and try to be more inclusive.
05/20/2014 10:59:02 AM
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@coach_eazy Agreed! It seems to me that all the athletes met standards (arbitrary, if you will) and were able bodied enough to perform to those standards. Every. Last. One. Let's provide a "Can Do" attitude and not anything contrary to that.
@coach_eazy Agreed! It seems to me that all the athletes met standards (arbitrary, if you will) and were able bodied enough to perform to those standards. Every. Last. One. Let's provide a "Can Do" attitude and not anything contrary to that.
05/20/2014 11:12:02 AM
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@tonyjdai The NCHSAA is not flying solo on this - they are using NFHS guidelines. Also, I am horrified by your assertion that letting disabled athletes participate "tarnishes" the meet. It's either evidence of a discriminatory mindset (that they somehow decrease the value of the meet by their very presence), or it's a thinly-veiled attempt to discredit Mount Tabor's championship. Either way, I'm not on board. The rules were in place, everyone knew them (if not then they failed to educate themselves), and Mount Tabor operated 100% within the rules. Their championship is therefore 100% legitimate. Nothing has been tarnished. Furthermore, the coaches at Mount Tabor nurtured and trained those athletes - one of them could not meet the standards when he began, so he did what every athlete should do and worked hard until he could. If you have a dominant sprinter in your hallways, you need to recruit him to come out to help you win a state championship. If you don't have a dominant sprinter in your hallways, then you're out of luck and you just need to do the best you can. Now, go back and replace "dominant sprinter" with "wheelchair athlete." We don't get to choose the kids that are attending our school, but we just have to do what we can with what we have. Mount Tabor did the best job of that, and they deserve their championship. If you think the rules need to be changed then so be it, but leave the negative accusations out of the conversation.
@tonyjdai The NCHSAA is not flying solo on this - they are using NFHS guidelines. Also, I am horrified by your assertion that letting disabled athletes participate "tarnishes" the meet. It's either evidence of a discriminatory mindset (that they somehow decrease the value of the meet by their very presence), or it's a thinly-veiled attempt to discredit Mount Tabor's championship. Either way, I'm not on board. The rules were in place, everyone knew them (if not then they failed to educate themselves), and Mount Tabor operated 100% within the rules. Their championship is therefore 100% legitimate. Nothing has been tarnished. Furthermore, the coaches at Mount Tabor nurtured and trained those athletes - one of them could not meet the standards when he began, so he did what every athlete should do and worked hard until he could.

If you have a dominant sprinter in your hallways, you need to recruit him to come out to help you win a state championship. If you don't have a dominant sprinter in your hallways, then you're out of luck and you just need to do the best you can. Now, go back and replace "dominant sprinter" with "wheelchair athlete." We don't get to choose the kids that are attending our school, but we just have to do what we can with what we have. Mount Tabor did the best job of that, and they deserve their championship.

If you think the rules need to be changed then so be it, but leave the negative accusations out of the conversation.
05/20/2014 12:53:35 PM
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@CoachGeorgeRJR first - I resent the fact that you think I have something against disabled/handicap athletes and that this is somehow related to Mt. Tabor's championship. You are wrong on both points. I coached the Special Olympics team at my old high school in Wisconsin and worked with these kids the same as the able bodied kids. In Wisconsin the wheelchair and modified athletes compete against one another and score for their team at the able bodied state meet but the team consists of athletes who are also disabled and they only compete against other athletes who also fall into that category. Not against the able bodied athletes. here are the guidelines from the NFHS DETERMINATION OF TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS OPTIONS:   1. A team trophy given to traditional teams and one for the combined scores of the disabled  athletes and the traditional athletes from the same school (WA)  2. If the points scored by a disabled athlete enable his/her team to tie or exceed the highest team  point total of another team(s), then the team with disabled athlete will be declared the co‐ champion and the other team(s) without the disabled athlete will be declared the outright  champion.  This applies to the runner‐up position as well as the regular season, district, regional  and state meet. (LA)  3. Traditional system of awarding team trophies based on the combination of traditional and  disabled athlete points.  The NCHSAA were given a choice based on the guidelines shown above but I do not recall voting or discussing this issue. In my previous post I said that the coaches association needs to address this. If these are the options then we should vote. Also, the rules state "Scoring: At the regional and state meets, a wheelchair athlete will compete for individual and team honors." Nothing in the rules state that they compete for the able bodied team. Also, in the NFHS track and field handbook for 2014 there are no rules specifically addressing this issue. Unless you went to the NFHS website and searched for wheelchair guidelines you would not know the specifics of the guidelines.
@CoachGeorgeRJR first - I resent the fact that you think I have something against disabled/handicap athletes and that this is somehow related to Mt. Tabor's championship. You are wrong on both points. I coached the Special Olympics team at my old high school in Wisconsin and worked with these kids the same as the able bodied kids. In Wisconsin the wheelchair and modified athletes compete against one another and score for their team at the able bodied state meet but the team consists of athletes who are also disabled and they only compete against other athletes who also fall into that category. Not against the able bodied athletes.
here are the guidelines from the NFHS
DETERMINATION OF TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS OPTIONS:  
1. A team trophy given to traditional teams and one for the combined scores of the disabled 
athletes and the traditional athletes from the same school (WA) 
2. If the points scored by a disabled athlete enable his/her team to tie or exceed the highest team 
point total of another team(s), then the team with disabled athlete will be declared the co‐
champion and the other team(s) without the disabled athlete will be declared the outright 
champion.  This applies to the runner‐up position as well as the regular season, district, regional 
and state meet. (LA) 
3. Traditional system of awarding team trophies based on the combination of traditional and 
disabled athlete points. 

The NCHSAA were given a choice based on the guidelines shown above but I do not recall voting or discussing this issue. In my previous post I said that the coaches association needs to address this. If these are the options then we should vote. Also, the rules state "Scoring:
At the regional and state meets, a wheelchair athlete will compete for
individual and team honors." Nothing in the rules state that they compete for the able bodied team. Also, in the NFHS track and field handbook for 2014 there are no rules specifically addressing this issue. Unless you went to the NFHS website and searched for wheelchair guidelines you would not know the specifics of the guidelines.
05/20/2014 1:19:27 PM
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here are the guidelines from the NFHS file:///C:/Users/dad/Downloads/BEST%20PRACTICES%20for%20PARA%20TRACK%20and%20FIELD.pdf
here are the guidelines from the NFHS
file:///C:/Users/dad/Downloads/BEST%20PRACTICES%20for%20PARA%20TRACK%20and%20FIELD.pdf
05/20/2014 1:21:02 PM
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my apologies - here is the web link - that is a downloaded file. http://www.nfhs.org/search.aspx?searchtext=wheelchair
my apologies - here is the web link - that is a downloaded file.
http://www.nfhs.org/search.aspx?searchtext=wheelchair
05/20/2014 1:56:42 PM
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@tonyjdai If you use words like "travesty," "loophole," and "tarnish" in reference to the inclusion of adaptive athletes in team scoring, then you're opening yourself to the kind of interpretation that I made. It wasn't a travesty, and it wasn't a loophole, and the championship was not tarnished in any way. As you indicated, the scoring that was used at the state meet was one of the options presented by the NFHS, and the scoring rules were communicated in advance, and they have been in place for years. It just happens that this year, for the first time, a team won the state title with adaptive points as part of their score. NOW, all of a sudden, you're up in arms over the situation, even though adaptive kids have scored points for their teams in the past. What other conclusion can be drawn? You might not have anything against Mount Tabor specifically, but it is clear that what has put the bee in your bonnet is the fact that a team won the championship at least in part because of adaptive points, and you view that as being tainted somehow. I'm glad to know that the first possibility I listed (that you were being discriminatory) is not true - I suspected from the beginning that you were not thinking along those lines, but given your wording it was a possibility that had to be considered. Finally, the NFHS sets guidelines, but it is up to the state association to interpret them. There is no "one size fits all" interpretation. Why would you expect to vote on this issue? Have you voted on other rules interpretations, or has the NCHSAA told you what they decided on as their interpretation (think uniform rules, for example)? The board of directors of the NCHSAA determines the policies for all sports, not the coaches. The coaches association can lobby for changes, but in the end only the NCHSAA can interpret the rules and set the policies.
@tonyjdai If you use words like "travesty," "loophole," and "tarnish" in reference to the inclusion of adaptive athletes in team scoring, then you're opening yourself to the kind of interpretation that I made. It wasn't a travesty, and it wasn't a loophole, and the championship was not tarnished in any way. As you indicated, the scoring that was used at the state meet was one of the options presented by the NFHS, and the scoring rules were communicated in advance, and they have been in place for years.

It just happens that this year, for the first time, a team won the state title with adaptive points as part of their score. NOW, all of a sudden, you're up in arms over the situation, even though adaptive kids have scored points for their teams in the past. What other conclusion can be drawn? You might not have anything against Mount Tabor specifically, but it is clear that what has put the bee in your bonnet is the fact that a team won the championship at least in part because of adaptive points, and you view that as being tainted somehow.

I'm glad to know that the first possibility I listed (that you were being discriminatory) is not true - I suspected from the beginning that you were not thinking along those lines, but given your wording it was a possibility that had to be considered.

Finally, the NFHS sets guidelines, but it is up to the state association to interpret them. There is no "one size fits all" interpretation. Why would you expect to vote on this issue? Have you voted on other rules interpretations, or has the NCHSAA told you what they decided on as their interpretation (think uniform rules, for example)? The board of directors of the NCHSAA determines the policies for all sports, not the coaches. The coaches association can lobby for changes, but in the end only the NCHSAA can interpret the rules and set the policies.

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