Hello Coaches & Team Managers,
Thank you for participating in the 2019 Gopher State Tournament of Champions! The MYAS has partnered with Youth 1st and will be including the Youth 1st Team Awards Program as part of the 2019 GSTC Tournaments. It is a simple, yet significant program that will enhance the experience for players, coaches, umpires, and fans by placing an emphasis on good sportsmanship and positive conduct! The Umpires will be handing each coach a Conduct 1st Pocket Reminder as part of the pre-game coaches’ meetings during the early rounds of the tournament. This is a reminder that the tournament is a Conduct 1st Environment. The card emphasizes three main points:
- REMEMBER … It’s about the kids.
- I WILL … Keep my competitive energy in check.
- I WILL ALWAYS … Treat officials and opponents with respect.
We are asking all coaches to please partner with your umpires to ensure that this emphasis is maintained throughout each game by yourself, assistant coaches, your players and your fans. We also recommend sharing the card with your other coaches and fans as the game starts.
At the conclusion of each game, the umpire will vote for each team that exhibits the conduct, behavior and attitudes as defined by the three points of emphasis. Remind your parents the team vote includes players, coaches, AND FANS! After the tournament, teams that receive exemplary scores from the umpires, compared to the number of games played, will be contacted by Youth 1st. These teams will be recognized with a Youth 1st Team Award at special pre-game recognition at CHS Field, including Saints tickets and on-field activities!
Why are we implementing this initiative at our Gopher State Tournament of Champions?
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, only 2 of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating, creating a referee drain that has schools and youth athletic association’s struggling to cover games and administrators trying to find ways to keep officials on the job. We all know there is a shortage of officials – not just in Minnesota, but across the country. There are veteran officials/umpires retiring and not enough new officials/umpires to replace them.
We believe one solution to the diminishing pool of umpires is to encourage parents, coaches and officials at the youth level to partner together to make the environment more positive. New umpires are likely introduced to officiating at the youth level, so it is important that we put them in a position to learn and succeed so they will want to continue to umpire in the future.
We also believe that our initiative will foster positive conduct from coaches and spectators and, more importantly, create a safe, positive and productive environment for all youth participating at your site during the MYAS Gopher State Tournament of Champions.
Thank you for assisting us in this process! We believe the Youth 1st Team Awards Program will be a positive influence during the tournament, making the experience even better for you, the fans, the umpires and especially the kids!
Mark Arjes Dawson Blanck Bobby Strickland
Director - Youth 1st Executive Director - MYAS GSTC Director
(612) 968-9192 (763) 781-2220 (763) 781-2220