Poll: Coaches Poll: How Should the NCHSAA Handle Team Points from Adaptive and Wheelchair Events?

Option Votes Score
Option 1: Keep the current system 21 32%
Option 2: Separate adaptive division with its own championship 31 47%
Option 3: Award two team championships when needed 14 21%
66 Votes

Vote!
Coaches Poll: How Should the NCHSAA Handle Team Points from Adaptive and Wheelchair Events?
09/04/2014 8:58:32 AM
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The NCTCCCA needs your voice on an issue that caused some significant discussion at the end of the spring season. In our current scoring system, wheelchair and adaptive athletes score team points if they meet a minimum standard in their performances at the state meet. If there is one athlete in the event, then one point is scored; if two athletes compete against each other, the winner gets 2 points and second place gets 1. If more athletes participate, the point value for winning will increase on the 8-place scoring system, until the scoring is the same as for all events when there are 8 participants (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1). This is one of three ways that the NFHS suggests for state associations to choose from regarding wheelchair and adaptive athletes. Option 1 in the poll is to keep the current system, which played a role in Mount Tabor's team championship last spring. Option 2 is to create a separate adaptive division with its own team championship, and then use the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system regardless of the number of participants in the wheelchair/adaptive events. In this system, all adaptive and wheelchair athletes from all classifications would compete together, during one of the regularly-scheduled state meets. This would increase competition for adaptive athletes and maintain the opportunity to compete for a championship, but would remove the points from the standard team competition. Option 3 is to maintain the current scoring system, but to award two championships whenever the case arises that the adaptive/wheelchair points affect the outcome of the standard team championship. Under this system, Apex would have been awarded the standard 4A championship last spring, while Mount Tabor would have been awarded the "overall" team championship due to their extra points from the wheelchair events.
The NCTCCCA needs your voice on an issue that caused some significant discussion at the end of the spring season. In our current scoring system, wheelchair and adaptive athletes score team points if they meet a minimum standard in their performances at the state meet. If there is one athlete in the event, then one point is scored; if two athletes compete against each other, the winner gets 2 points and second place gets 1. If more athletes participate, the point value for winning will increase on the 8-place scoring system, until the scoring is the same as for all events when there are 8 participants (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1). This is one of three ways that the NFHS suggests for state associations to choose from regarding wheelchair and adaptive athletes.

Option 1 in the poll is to keep the current system, which played a role in Mount Tabor's team championship last spring.

Option 2 is to create a separate adaptive division with its own team championship, and then use the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system regardless of the number of participants in the wheelchair/adaptive events. In this system, all adaptive and wheelchair athletes from all classifications would compete together, during one of the regularly-scheduled state meets. This would increase competition for adaptive athletes and maintain the opportunity to compete for a championship, but would remove the points from the standard team competition.

Option 3 is to maintain the current scoring system, but to award two championships whenever the case arises that the adaptive/wheelchair points affect the outcome of the standard team championship. Under this system, Apex would have been awarded the standard 4A championship last spring, while Mount Tabor would have been awarded the "overall" team championship due to their extra points from the wheelchair events.
09/04/2014 8:59:17 AM
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(I accidentally deleted this post, so I am reposting it. Sorry, Becky!) This is the letter our staff sent to the NCTCCCA and the NCHSAA on our position. If you have thoughts on this subject I encourage you to send them to those two organizations as well. I will not respond to comments on this forum directed toward our team or athletes. Thank You, Patrick Cromwell Head Boys XC and Track & Field Coach Mount Tabor High School Mount Tabor High School Track and Field Coaches and Athletes 342 Petree Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106 August 25, 2014 To Whom It May Concern: Ever since the Mount Tabor men won the 4-A state championship in track and field last May, there has been much for us to celebrate. However, at the North Carolina High School Coaches Convention in July, the tone became contentious during discussions about current policies regarding wheelchair athletes in track and field. Instead of congratulating the win of a talented and inclusive team, it was clearly voiced that this was an “issue” that needed to be resolved. It has become apparent that a possible proposal involves placing the wheelchair athletes in a separate category and competition in which they no longer train or score points as part of the regular high school team. We propose that the current policies should stand as they are, for any shift in the other direction would be neither ethically nor lawfully sound. It seems that much of the desire to change the current policy of including wheelchair and adaptive athletes on the team with the “able-bodied” athletes is based on the notion that it is somehow unfair to “able-bodied” athletes. It is interesting to note that no one voiced a problem with the handful of wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field (scoring points for their respective high school teams by meeting standards set by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association) prior to this season; it only became a problem when it was realized that these athletes could actually make a difference (such as contributing to a team championship). In fact, a coach in Cary was quoted in the News and Observer, saying, “In 40 years of coaching high school track, nothing has ever come close to bothering me this much… To have a group of athletes who are capable of winning a state championship and for them to perform like the Apex boys did and to have the title taken away really bothers me.” His words reflect how little he values those in wheelchairs, and sadly, it seems he speaks for some other coaches in the state. We’re sure that every “able-bodied” young man on the Mount Tabor team would feel far more cheated to be denied their state title because it was determined that the efforts of their “disabled” teammates didn’t count. That is exactly the message that such a change in policy would send. As coaches, we shouldn’t care so much about winning titles as we do about trying to develop the stated values and beliefs of the NCHSAA: sportsmanship, integrity, fair play, honesty, respect, equity, fair competition, and development of student athletes (all student athletes). What are we teaching our high schoolers, and all those connected to them (young and old), when we consider that it may be more “fair” to create a special and separate competition for those in wheelchairs so that their points will in no way impact the outcome of a meet for those who are “able-bodied?” This proposed policy so clearly screams to the wheelchair athletes that they don't belong. They are "special," but not in any valuable sort of way. The bottom line is harsh yet simple: They don’t count. Those who can’t compete as “regular” athletes don’t deserve to be part of the team. They can’t cut it as a “real” athlete so we’ve created a “special” category for them. Us and them. Separate but equal. Those are the devastating phrases that have served to divide humanity and support discrimination for thousands of years. We applaud the NCHSAA for taking a step forward and encouraging coaches to involve wheelchair athletes four years ago. Let’s not embrace the stance of stagnation or revert policies in place that are serving and growing both the “able-bodied” and “disabled.” We witnessed so many lines erased between these two groups over the past few seasons - among our Tabor athletes, athletes on other teams, as well as among coaches and fans. We have to believe there are other schools with students in wheelchairs (who would love to compete as part of their team), and we have to believe there are coaches willing to help them. It’s not a heavy burden, and there is help available if coaches are unsure of how to involve this untraditional group. When it comes to human rights, however, sticking with tradition rarely breeds positive consequences. What a privilege it would be to break from tradition and live up to the stated vision of the NCHSAA: “The NCHSAA will be the national model for developing and inspiring greatness through interscholastic athletic experiences.” As employees of the public education system (whether in the classroom or on the field), it is not only a privilege to model such greatness, but our responsibility under the law. First of all, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that “State or local governments may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. All government facilities, services, and communications must be accessible consistent with the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.” In January of 2013, the Office for Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague Letter,” which clarified the necessity of knowing and living up to the responsibilities of public schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section IV of this letter clarifies what was passed into law forty years earlier: “In providing or arranging for the provision of extracurricular athletics, a school district must ensure that a student with a disability participates with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of that student with a disability. The provision of unnecessarily separate or different services is discriminatory.” People may have differing views about the rightness or wrongness of the current policies, depending on individual beliefs. However, the laws of our nation support the system under which high school track and field has operated in North Carolina since wheelchair athletes were invited into the system, and these same laws label anything less as discriminatory. We submit that it would be both good and wise for us continue to follow these laws. It will serve for the betterment of our sport and, more importantly, the betterment of the human spirit. Sincerely, Becky Paynter On behalf of the Mount Tabor Track and Field Coaches and Athletes
(I accidentally deleted this post, so I am reposting it. Sorry, Becky!) This is the letter our staff sent to the NCTCCCA and the NCHSAA on our position. If you have thoughts on this subject I encourage you to send them to those two organizations as well. I will not respond to comments on this forum directed toward our team or athletes.

Thank You,
Patrick Cromwell

Head Boys XC and Track & Field Coach
Mount Tabor High School

Mount Tabor High School
Track and Field Coaches and Athletes
342 Petree Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

August 25, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

Ever since the Mount Tabor men won the 4-A state championship in track and field last May, there has been much for us to celebrate. However, at the North Carolina High School Coaches Convention in July, the tone became contentious during discussions about current policies regarding wheelchair athletes in track and field. Instead of congratulating the win of a talented and inclusive team, it was clearly voiced that this was an "issue" that needed to be resolved. It has become apparent that a possible proposal involves placing the wheelchair athletes in a separate category and competition in which they no longer train or score points as part of the regular high school team. We propose that the current policies should stand as they are, for any shift in the other direction would be neither ethically nor lawfully sound.

It seems that much of the desire to change the current policy of including wheelchair and adaptive athletes on the team with the "able-bodied" athletes is based on the notion that it is somehow unfair to "able-bodied" athletes. It is interesting to note that no one voiced a problem with the handful of wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field (scoring points for their respective high school teams by meeting standards set by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association) prior to this season; it only became a problem when it was realized that these athletes could actually make a difference (such as contributing to a team championship).
In fact, a coach in Cary was quoted in the News and Observer, saying, "In 40 years of coaching high school track, nothing has ever come close to bothering me this much… To have a group of athletes who are capable of winning a state championship and for them to perform like the Apex boys did and to have the title taken away really bothers me." His words reflect how little he values those in wheelchairs, and sadly, it seems he speaks for some other coaches in the state.

We're sure that every "able-bodied" young man on the Mount Tabor team would feel far more cheated to be denied their state title because it was determined that the efforts of their "disabled" teammates didn't count. That is exactly the message that such a change in policy would send. As coaches, we shouldn't care so much about winning titles as we do about trying to develop the stated values and beliefs of the NCHSAA: sportsmanship, integrity, fair play, honesty, respect, equity, fair competition, and development of student athletes (all student athletes).
What are we teaching our high schoolers, and all those connected to them (young and old), when we consider that it may be more "fair" to create a special and separate competition for those in wheelchairs so that their points will in no way impact the outcome of a meet for those who are "able-bodied?" This proposed policy so clearly screams to the wheelchair athletes that they don't belong. They are "special," but not in any valuable sort of way.
The bottom line is harsh yet simple: They don't count. Those who can't compete as "regular" athletes don't deserve to be part of the team. They can't cut it as a "real" athlete so we've created a "special" category for them. Us and them. Separate but equal. Those are the devastating phrases that have served to divide humanity and support discrimination for thousands of years.

We applaud the NCHSAA for taking a step forward and encouraging coaches to involve wheelchair athletes four years ago. Let's not embrace the stance of stagnation or revert policies in place that are serving and growing both the "able-bodied" and "disabled." We witnessed so many lines erased between these two groups over the past few seasons - among our Tabor athletes, athletes on other teams, as well as among coaches and fans.

We have to believe there are other schools with students in wheelchairs (who would love to compete as part of their team), and we have to believe there are coaches willing to help them. It's not a heavy burden, and there is help available if coaches are unsure of how to involve this untraditional group. When it comes to human rights, however, sticking with tradition rarely breeds positive consequences. What a privilege it would be to break from tradition and live up to the stated vision of the NCHSAA: "The NCHSAA will be the national model for developing and inspiring greatness through interscholastic athletic experiences."
As employees of the public education system (whether in the classroom or on the field), it is not only a privilege to model such greatness, but our responsibility under the law. First of all, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that "State or local governments may not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. All government facilities, services, and communications must be accessible consistent with the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973."

In January of 2013, the Office for Civil Rights issued a "Dear Colleague Letter," which clarified the necessity of knowing and living up to the responsibilities of public schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section IV of this letter clarifies what was passed into law forty years earlier: "In providing or arranging for the provision of extracurricular athletics, a school district must ensure that a student with a disability participates with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of that student with a disability. The provision of unnecessarily separate or different services is discriminatory."
People may have differing views about the rightness or wrongness of the current policies, depending on individual beliefs. However, the laws of our nation support the system under which high school track and field has operated in North Carolina since wheelchair athletes were invited into the system, and these same laws label anything less as discriminatory. We submit that it would be both good and wise for us continue to follow these laws. It will serve for the betterment of our sport and, more importantly, the betterment of the human spirit.

Sincerely,
Becky Paynter
On behalf of the Mount Tabor Track and Field Coaches and Athletes
09/05/2014 9:52:09 AM
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Option # 3 should be OUT of the question. I feel one classification would be the ideal option but the team number should be eliminated.
Option # 3 should be OUT of the question.
I feel one classification would be the ideal option but the team number should be eliminated.
09/05/2014 1:06:57 PM
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The final rule standing should be for all meets during the year.
The final rule standing should be for all meets during the year.
09/05/2014 2:22:55 PM
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[quote=jbuchholz]Option # 3 should be OUT of the question. [/quote] Sorry, but I completely disagree. Unless you are completely comfortable with someone who is the only person in the state competing in their event changing which school wins the state championship (i.e., keep things the way they are) - and even coaches of disabled athletes I've spoken with have reservations about that - option #3 is by far the best choice. I'm not 100% thrilled with scoring wheelchair events when 99+% of the students in the state are not eligible to compete in them, and when no other sports have this provision. But there is a huge, huge difference between deciding whether to add an event, and deciding to get rid of an event. Creating a separate championship for wheelchair athletes is taking kids who currently compete in track & field and kicking them out of the sport. There is a strong case to be made that that would not be legal. Even if it did pass legal muster, it's a tremendously hurtful action that has no compelling justification. Telling kids who competed on their high school track team this year that, going forward, they will have their own separate "team" that in all likelihood would be just them fails the human decency test. I have been assuming that the small number of votes for option 3 is because people don't understand what it is saying. It would not create two champions every year. In the entire history of NC state meets, with two sexes and four classifications every year, this year's 4A boys meet is the only time the provision would ever have come into play. In that instance, it would have made Apex champion and Mt. Tabor co-champion. Going forward, the only time it would ever come into play would be when one team had the most points in the 18 traditional events, but a second team had a higher score when wheelchair events are added in. Based on past history, that would maybe happen one percent of the time. I don't think it is perfect, but it seems like a fairly good balance between avoiding a rare but genuinely troubling issue of competitive fairness, and the legal and ethical imperative to accommodate disable individuals in all educational programs.
jbuchholz wrote:
Option # 3 should be OUT of the question.

Sorry, but I completely disagree. Unless you are completely comfortable with someone who is the only person in the state competing in their event changing which school wins the state championship (i.e., keep things the way they are) - and even coaches of disabled athletes I've spoken with have reservations about that - option #3 is by far the best choice.
I'm not 100% thrilled with scoring wheelchair events when 99+% of the students in the state are not eligible to compete in them, and when no other sports have this provision. But there is a huge, huge difference between deciding whether to add an event, and deciding to get rid of an event. Creating a separate championship for wheelchair athletes is taking kids who currently compete in track & field and kicking them out of the sport. There is a strong case to be made that that would not be legal. Even if it did pass legal muster, it's a tremendously hurtful action that has no compelling justification. Telling kids who competed on their high school track team this year that, going forward, they will have their own separate "team" that in all likelihood would be just them fails the human decency test.

I have been assuming that the small number of votes for option 3 is because people don't understand what it is saying. It would not create two champions every year. In the entire history of NC state meets, with two sexes and four classifications every year, this year's 4A boys meet is the only time the provision would ever have come into play. In that instance, it would have made Apex champion and Mt. Tabor co-champion. Going forward, the only time it would ever come into play would be when one team had the most points in the 18 traditional events, but a second team had a higher score when wheelchair events are added in. Based on past history, that would maybe happen one percent of the time. I don't think it is perfect, but it seems like a fairly good balance between avoiding a rare but genuinely troubling issue of competitive fairness, and the legal and ethical imperative to accommodate disable individuals in all educational programs.
09/05/2014 2:56:23 PM
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I'm as competitive a person as there is; and maybe, a few years ago I would have been upset by wheelchair/adaptive athletes making the difference in a State championship; but, now, maybe with the mellowing or different perspective of age and/or experience; I feel that if the kids have been on your team all year; they go to your school; possibly the kids on your team have gone to school with these kids their whole lives.....if they can score; I say let them score and be counted with their teammates.....it may be the high point of their athletic careers and will surely, REALLY make them feel like they really make a difference. Who knows; it might really make them go ahead and achieve great things in their lives because they believe they can do anything that they put their minds and hearts to. I've got a few reasons behind saying this that I don't want to get into; but, I've seen first-hand how "able-bodied" kids will rally around a special needs and/or "handicapped" kid to make them a part of everything that they do. It's really beautiful. :-]
I'm as competitive a person as there is; and maybe, a few years ago I would have been upset by wheelchair/adaptive athletes making the difference in a State championship; but, now, maybe with the mellowing or different perspective of age and/or experience; I feel that if the kids have been on your team all year; they go to your school; possibly the kids on your team have gone to school with these kids their whole lives.....if they can score; I say let them score and be counted with their teammates.....it may be the high point of their athletic careers and will surely, REALLY make them feel like they really make a difference. Who knows; it might really make them go ahead and achieve great things in their lives because they believe they can do anything that they put their minds and hearts to. I've got a few reasons behind saying this that I don't want to get into; but, I've seen first-hand how "able-bodied" kids will rally around a special needs and/or "handicapped" kid to make them a part of everything that they do. It's really beautiful.
09/05/2014 7:25:21 PM
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[quote=MackFHS]I'm as competitive a person as there is; and maybe, a few years ago I would have been upset by wheelchair/adaptive athletes making the difference in a State championship; but, now, maybe with the mellowing or different perspective of age and/or experience; I feel that if the kids have been on your team all year; they go to your school; possibly the kids on your team have gone to school with these kids their whole lives.....if they can score; I say let them score and be counted with their teammates.....it may be the high point of their athletic careers and will surely, REALLY make them feel like they really make a difference. Who knows; it might really make them go ahead and achieve great things in their lives because they believe they can do anything that they put their minds and hearts to. I've got a few reasons behind saying this that I don't want to get into; but, I've seen first-hand how "able-bodied" kids will rally around a special needs and/or "handicapped" kid to make them a part of everything that they do. It's really beautiful. [/quote] @MackFHS ^^^^^^ What he just said!
MackFHS wrote:
I'm as competitive a person as there is; and maybe, a few years ago I would have been upset by wheelchair/adaptive athletes making the difference in a State championship; but, now, maybe with the mellowing or different perspective of age and/or experience; I feel that if the kids have been on your team all year; they go to your school; possibly the kids on your team have gone to school with these kids their whole lives.....if they can score; I say let them score and be counted with their teammates.....it may be the high point of their athletic careers and will surely, REALLY make them feel like they really make a difference. Who knows; it might really make them go ahead and achieve great things in their lives because they believe they can do anything that they put their minds and hearts to. I've got a few reasons behind saying this that I don't want to get into; but, I've seen first-hand how "able-bodied" kids will rally around a special needs and/or "handicapped" kid to make them a part of everything that they do. It's really beautiful.


@MackFHS ^^^^^^ What he just said!
09/06/2014 4:14:42 PM
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I have to be honest - Jeff you made this more contentious than the vote needed to be by saying that it played a part in last years 4A championship. How about we vote on the merits of able bodied vs adaptive? In 2014 Mt. Tabor won, period. In fact, their able bodied and adaptive athletes would have won two titles last year if they had competed separately. How cool would that have been? In 2015 we are trying to find a solution that puts the athletes and the state association in a positive light. In Wisconsin, where I formerly coached, the adaptive athletes have their own competition based on the division their school is in. Yes, one or two athletes win a title for their school but it is their title. Fort Atkinson, WI, where my good friend Dennis Schwedersky is the coach, has won it twice while their able bodied athletes have never come close to winning a state championship. How special is that for those kids? And how proud must the family, staff of the school and coaches be for their efforts? We are looking forward not backward. I sincerely hope the NCHSAA and the rest of the coaches in the state will embrace a separate but equally honored tradition of having state titles determined by those athletes who compete equally against athletes of equal skills and abilities. I have stated plainly what I mean. I am not being ambiguous or disingenuous. We need separate championships. They are not being singled out or ridiculed. It is an honest competition against athletes of similar abilities and skills. Fair and equal. Let's keep the question simple and the answer honest. Thanks, Tony Dai Myers Park HS
I have to be honest - Jeff you made this more contentious than the vote needed to be by saying that it played a part in last years 4A championship. How about we vote on the merits of able bodied vs adaptive? In 2014 Mt. Tabor won, period. In fact, their able bodied and adaptive athletes would have won two titles last year if they had competed separately. How cool would that have been? In 2015 we are trying to find a solution that puts the athletes and the state association in a positive light. In Wisconsin, where I formerly coached, the adaptive athletes have their own competition based on the division their school is in. Yes, one or two athletes win a title for their school but it is their title. Fort Atkinson, WI, where my good friend Dennis Schwedersky is the coach, has won it twice while their able bodied athletes have never come close to winning a state championship. How special is that for those kids? And how proud must the family, staff of the school and coaches be for their efforts? We are looking forward not backward. I sincerely hope the NCHSAA and the rest of the coaches in the state will embrace a separate but equally honored tradition of having state titles determined by those athletes who compete equally against athletes of equal skills and abilities. I have stated plainly what I mean. I am not being ambiguous or disingenuous. We need separate championships. They are not being singled out or ridiculed. It is an honest competition against athletes of similar abilities and skills. Fair and equal. Let's keep the question simple and the answer honest. Thanks, Tony Dai Myers Park HS
09/06/2014 8:00:50 PM
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@tonyjdai It DID play a part in the 4A championship last year. Mount Tabor would not have won without the 8 wheelchair points, so they would not have won two championships. It was already contentious, as anyone who attended the NCTCCCA meeting after the rules session at the summer clinic. I didn't make it any more contentious, and I didn't state anything that wasn't fact. As for the rest of your post, that's your opinion, and you have some valid arguments - but so do those on the other side.
@tonyjdai It DID play a part in the 4A championship last year. Mount Tabor would not have won without the 8 wheelchair points, so they would not have won two championships. It was already contentious, as anyone who attended the NCTCCCA meeting after the rules session at the summer clinic. I didn't make it any more contentious, and I didn't state anything that wasn't fact. As for the rest of your post, that's your opinion, and you have some valid arguments - but so do those on the other side.
09/07/2014 2:46:15 PM
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[quote=tonyjdai]In Wisconsin, where I formerly coached, the adaptive athletes have their own competition based on the division their school is in. Yes, one or two athletes win a title for their school but it is their title. Fort Atkinson, WI, where my good friend Dennis Schwedersky is the coach, has won it twice while their able bodied athletes have never come close to winning a state championship. How special is that for those kids? And how proud must the family, staff of the school and coaches be for their efforts? [/quote] Are you arguing that it is somehow [i]more[/i] special to win a state title at a disabled-only state championship, and that the family, staff, and coaches would be [i]more[/i] proud of the athletes, compared to the current situation in which they compete in front of thousands of spectators and compete on a team that includes dozens of their classmates? That's plainly ridiculous. The total number of disabled athletes competing in the whole state is in the low double-figures. If establishing a separate championship caused that to go up by a factor of ten - and why would it? - and if every single one of those athletes competes in the state meet - and how special is the state meet if everyone gets to go? - we are still talking about a meet much smaller than the current state track meet, and in most cases "teams" that would consist of one athlete. Take away the right to compete on the team with everyone else in the school, and you will take away all awareness within the school that the disabled athletes are competing. Don't tell me about how it doesn't have to be that way - in virtually every school, it absolutely WILL be that way. Disabled sports would be looked on as just another EC activity. Yay for your friend if he has actually created a program that goes beyond that, but in most high schools activities that aren't for traditional students are completely invisible. [quote=tonyjdai]It is an honest competition against athletes of similar abilities and skills. Fair and equal. Let's keep the question simple and the answer honest.[/quote] The competition is not between athletes of similar abilities and skills. That's one reason why some people who support an inclusive sport are not in favor of the current setup. The whole point of the wheelchair category is that some students are unable to compete in traditional events, but that encompasses a very wide range of physical abilities. For some wheelchair-bound athletes, the current scoring standards at the state meet are easy to achieve. For others, they are impossible. In the Paralympics, there are multiple categories which correlate with different levels of disability. This does not exist in our sport, and NFHSA info on standards for disabled competition says "it is not practical" to try to classily athletes by disability. As a result, we have standards that seem to geared towards being achievable for the most disabled athletes, and for the most part make it much easier for a disabled athlete to score at the state meet than for an abled-bodied athlete.
nyjdai wrote:
In Wisconsin, where I formerly coached, the adaptive athletes have their own competition based on the division their school is in. Yes, one or two athletes win a title for their school but it is their title. Fort Atkinson, WI, where my good friend Dennis Schwedersky is the coach, has won it twice while their able bodied athletes have never come close to winning a state championship. How special is that for those kids? And how proud must the family, staff of the school and coaches be for their efforts?


Are you arguing that it is somehow more special to win a state title at a disabled-only state championship, and that the family, staff, and coaches would be more proud of the athletes, compared to the current situation in which they compete in front of thousands of spectators and compete on a team that includes dozens of their classmates? That's plainly ridiculous. The total number of disabled athletes competing in the whole state is in the low double-figures. If establishing a separate championship caused that to go up by a factor of ten - and why would it? - and if every single one of those athletes competes in the state meet - and how special is the state meet if everyone gets to go? - we are still talking about a meet much smaller than the current state track meet, and in most cases "teams" that would consist of one athlete. Take away the right to compete on the team with everyone else in the school, and you will take away all awareness within the school that the disabled athletes are competing. Don't tell me about how it doesn't have to be that way - in virtually every school, it absolutely WILL be that way. Disabled sports would be looked on as just another EC activity. Yay for your friend if he has actually created a program that goes beyond that, but in most high schools activities that aren't for traditional students are completely invisible.
nyjdai wrote:
It is an honest competition against athletes of similar abilities and skills. Fair and equal. Let's keep the question simple and the answer honest.
The competition is not between athletes of similar abilities and skills. That's one reason why some people who support an inclusive sport are not in favor of the current setup. The whole point of the wheelchair category is that some students are unable to compete in traditional events, but that encompasses a very wide range of physical abilities. For some wheelchair-bound athletes, the current scoring standards at the state meet are easy to achieve. For others, they are impossible. In the Paralympics, there are multiple categories which correlate with different levels of disability. This does not exist in our sport, and NFHSA info on standards for disabled competition says "it is not practical" to try to classily athletes by disability. As a result, we have standards that seem to geared towards being achievable for the most disabled athletes, and for the most part make it much easier for a disabled athlete to score at the state meet than for an abled-bodied athlete.
09/07/2014 3:14:54 PM
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The Wisconsin State Track and Field meet is all inclusive where the able bodied and adaptive athletes compete over 2 days with all divisions where it is a blended competition with the adaptive events run at the same time. Here is the time schedule for last year. 3200 Meter Relay (Boys) 100 Meter High Hurdles (Girls) 110 Meter High Hurdles (Boys) 100 Meter Coed Wheelchair 100 Meter Dash (Girls) 100 Meter Dash (Boys) 1600 Meter Coed Wheelchair 1600 Meter Run (Girls) 800 Meter Relay (Girls) 800 Meter Relay (Boys) 400 Meter Coed Wheelchair 400 Meter Dash (Girls) 400 Meter Dash (Boys) 400 Meter Relay (Girls) 400 Meter Relay (Boys) 300 Meter Low Hurdles (Girls) 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Boys) 800 Meter Coed Wheelchair 800 Meter Run (Girls) 200 Meter Dash (Girls) 200 Meter Dash (Boys) 3200 Meter Run (Boys) 1600 Meter Relay (Girls) 1600 Meter Relay (Boys)
The Wisconsin State Track and Field meet is all inclusive where the able bodied and adaptive athletes compete over 2 days with all divisions where it is a blended competition with the adaptive events run at the same time. Here is the time schedule for last year.
3200 Meter Relay (Boys)
100 Meter High Hurdles (Girls)
110 Meter High Hurdles (Boys)
100 Meter Coed Wheelchair
100 Meter Dash (Girls)
100 Meter Dash (Boys)
1600 Meter Coed Wheelchair
1600 Meter Run (Girls)
800 Meter Relay (Girls)
800 Meter Relay (Boys)
400 Meter Coed Wheelchair
400 Meter Dash (Girls)
400 Meter Dash (Boys)
400 Meter Relay (Girls)
400 Meter Relay (Boys)
300 Meter Low Hurdles (Girls)
300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Boys)
800 Meter Coed Wheelchair
800 Meter Run (Girls)
200 Meter Dash (Girls)
200 Meter Dash (Boys)
3200 Meter Run (Boys)
1600 Meter Relay (Girls)
1600 Meter Relay (Boys)
09/12/2014 1:59:36 PM
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I don't think that there is a coach out there that would seriously consider pushing a slight-framed 90 pound athlete into training for shot put. They are built for a different track and field event but we don't look down on them because the excel at long distance or perhaps the high jump. So it is for the wheel-chair athlete. they are built to participate in one of many events offered in track and field. No event is greater or lesser than another. all this hulabaloo about the wheel-chair event won Mt. Tabor the championship is ridiculous. It helped but so did their results from pole vault, long disance, hurdles and the 4X400 and 4X800. Where is the outcry about those events? I fully support what was communicated in the letter from Mt. Tabor. To eliminate or separate an event an athlete is "built" for, sends the wrong message to all involved. I, for one, wouldn't like to be a champion when not all had the opportunity to compete.
I don't think that there is a coach out there that would seriously consider pushing a slight-framed 90 pound athlete into training for shot put. They are built for a different track and field event but we don't look down on them because the excel at long distance or perhaps the high jump. So it is for the wheel-chair athlete. they are built to participate in one of many events offered in track and field. No event is greater or lesser than another. all this hulabaloo about the wheel-chair event won Mt. Tabor the championship is ridiculous. It helped but so did their results from pole vault, long disance, hurdles and the 4X400 and 4X800. Where is the outcry about those events? I fully support what was communicated in the letter from Mt. Tabor. To eliminate or separate an event an athlete is "built" for, sends the wrong message to all involved. I, for one, wouldn't like to be a champion when not all had the opportunity to compete.
09/12/2014 2:50:46 PM
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@wneagle I wish I could like this a thousand times! That is articulated simply and brilliantly, in a way that I've never seen before. Thank you.
@wneagle I wish I could like this a thousand times! That is articulated simply and brilliantly, in a way that I've never seen before. Thank you.
09/13/2014 4:48:49 PM
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I also don't think that there is a coach out there that would push a 90 lb kid away from the shot put if they had their heart set on throwing. I have seen some pretty good throwers run fast 100's and you would not think that they were built for that. To say that the wheel-chair events did not win the championship may be a little off. Would we be having this discussion if they didn't? At the highest level of our sport, they separate the able body athletes from the adaptive athletes. Why would high school be any different? Some people say that the adaptive kids practice with their teams so they should be able to contribute. I am sure that kids in wheelchairs can practice with the basketball team but you can't put them on the court by themselves and add any baskets that they score to the total team score. Is that any different than what we are doing?
I also don't think that there is a coach out there that would push a 90 lb kid away from the shot put if they had their heart set on throwing. I have seen some pretty good throwers run fast 100's and you would not think that they were built for that. To say that the wheel-chair events did not win the championship may be a little off. Would we be having this discussion if they didn't? At the highest level of our sport, they separate the able body athletes from the adaptive athletes. Why would high school be any different? Some people say that the adaptive kids practice with their teams so they should be able to contribute. I am sure that kids in wheelchairs can practice with the basketball team but you can't put them on the court by themselves and add any baskets that they score to the total team score. Is that any different than what we are doing?
09/15/2014 1:32:13 PM
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"I am sure that kids in wheelchairs can practice with the basketball team but you can't put them on the court by themselves and add any baskets that they score to the total team score. Is that any different than what we are doing?" It is a huge difference. Until, and we'll continue using the parallel sport brought up, basketball has a lay-up athlete, a free-throw athlete, a shot-block athlete and sepatate them out to do only those special sections that make up the game, then we can make this comparison. Otherwise, it is apples and oranges. Also, just because the highest level of our sports do things differently, doesn't necessarily translate to what we should or, even, can do. I'll add to that something to think on. If our highest level really wanted segregation, why did it allow Pistorius to compete with able bodied athletes?
"I am sure that kids in wheelchairs can practice with the basketball team but you can't put them on the court by themselves and add any baskets that they score to the total team score. Is that any different than what we are doing?"
It is a huge difference. Until, and we'll continue using the parallel sport brought up, basketball has a lay-up athlete, a free-throw athlete, a shot-block athlete and sepatate them out to do only those special sections that make up the game, then we can make this comparison. Otherwise, it is apples and oranges. Also, just because the highest level of our sports do things differently, doesn't necessarily translate to what we should or, even, can do. I'll add to that something to think on. If our highest level really wanted segregation, why did it allow Pistorius to compete with able bodied athletes?
09/15/2014 1:47:59 PM
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@CoachGeorgeRJR Thanks for the compliment and for all you do for all our athletes.
@CoachGeorgeRJR Thanks for the compliment and for all you do for all our athletes.
09/15/2014 6:08:23 PM
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You omitted the sentence before my basketball statement which had to do with people saying that they practice so they should be able to contribute so in that aspect it is not a huge difference. I never said segregate anybody. Just because some of us disagree with the scoring method, it doesn't mean that we don't want the kids to compete.I love the fact that all athletes can run together on the same day at the same place. Pistorius ran the able bodied qualifying time and competed in the same heats on the track at the same time at the Olympics. They did not create a special heat just for him.
You omitted the sentence before my basketball statement which had to do with people saying that they practice so they should be able to contribute so in that aspect it is not a huge difference. I never said segregate anybody. Just because some of us disagree with the scoring method, it doesn't mean that we don't want the kids to compete.I love the fact that all athletes can run together on the same day at the same place. Pistorius ran the able bodied qualifying time and competed in the same heats on the track at the same time at the Olympics. They did not create a special heat just for him.
09/18/2014 10:34:42 AM
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@lhayes If you don't like the term segregation, then why the disagreement on the way the events are scored? Either the wheelchair athlete is part of the team or they are not. To tell them they don't count amongst their peers because of conditions beyond their control is not something I want to be a part of. Pistorius made the qualifying time to race. So did our W/C athletes.
@lhayes If you don't like the term segregation, then why the disagreement on the way the events are scored? Either the wheelchair athlete is part of the team or they are not. To tell them they don't count amongst their peers because of conditions beyond their control is not something I want to be a part of. Pistorius made the qualifying time to race. So did our W/C athletes.
09/18/2014 8:57:57 PM
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I don't like the idea of having a event score that everybody doesn't have the ability to compete in. Every athlete on your team has the ability to compete in any event even if they are not good at it. Adaptive and wheelchair events do not give you that option. I don't think that abled bodies should be allowed to compete in adaptive and wc races so therefore should not be scored together in the same meet. There were no exceptions made to the standard order of events for Pistorius so I don't really think that his situation is relevant to this conversation. The wheelchair athletes did meet a standard and they should be able to compete. Does that mean that they should score? We don't want to tell them that they don't count for reasons that they can't control but we don't mind telling able bodied athletes that you may lose a meet based on a situation that they can't control. What makes one situation better than the other?
I don't like the idea of having a event score that everybody doesn't have the ability to compete in. Every athlete on your team has the ability to compete in any event even if they are not good at it. Adaptive and wheelchair events do not give you that option. I don't think that abled bodies should be allowed to compete in adaptive and wc races so therefore should not be scored together in the same meet. There were no exceptions made to the standard order of events for Pistorius so I don't really think that his situation is relevant to this conversation. The wheelchair athletes did meet a standard and they should be able to compete. Does that mean that they should score? We don't want to tell them that they don't count for reasons that they can't control but we don't mind telling able bodied athletes that you may lose a meet based on a situation that they can't control. What makes one situation better than the other?
09/19/2014 12:44:10 PM
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If adaptive athletes had the ability to compete in "able bodied" events, don't you think they would, so having "able bodied" athletes compete in adaptive events is moot. (Although, I would love for all athletes try to perform in an adaptive events for the experience and "run" in another's shoes.) Now to the main issue here. Why do we compete in an organized environment? We, as a whole, like to see if we can be the best and better than anyone else. In organized sports, that is handled certain ways, and usually by point totals, which is the case in track and field. So if judgment on our performance is based on points, how can we say compete without the chance to earn points. If we cannot, then it is no longer a competition but an exhibition. More teams in North Carolina do not have pole vaulters than do. How do you prepare the team that have no facilities, equipment or coaches to field pole vaulters, that they may lose a meet because of it? Is that unfair as well? On our team, when we do not have athletes to fill an event be it pole vault, triple jump or wheel chair 100, we try to develop our athlete to score well in events we can field.
If adaptive athletes had the ability to compete in "able bodied" events, don't you think they would, so having "able bodied" athletes compete in adaptive events is moot. (Although, I would love for all athletes try to perform in an adaptive events for the experience and "run" in another's shoes.) Now to the main issue here. Why do we compete in an organized environment? We, as a whole, like to see if we can be the best and better than anyone else. In organized sports, that is handled certain ways, and usually by point totals, which is the case in track and field. So if judgment on our performance is based on points, how can we say compete without the chance to earn points. If we cannot, then it is no longer a competition but an exhibition. More teams in North Carolina do not have pole vaulters than do. How do you prepare the team that have no facilities, equipment or coaches to field pole vaulters, that they may lose a meet because of it? Is that unfair as well? On our team, when we do not have athletes to fill an event be it pole vault, triple jump or wheel chair 100, we try to develop our athlete to score well in events we can field.

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