FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dawson N. Blanck, Executive Director
1011 Osborne Rd. NE
Spring Lake Park, MN 55432
Minneapolis, MN (March 5, 2020) Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. (MYAS)/Youth 1st are proud to announce Urban Air Adventure Park as the official sponsor of the 2020 MYAS/Youth 1st Sportsmanship Initiative. This initiative will emphasize sportsmanship, fan behavior and retention of officials at the 29th Annual Minnesota Youth Grade State Basketball Championships. The tournament should be about showcasing the kids and competition, not the negativity of unsportsmanlike behavior of players, coaches, and spectators that tends to creep into youth events.
Urban Air Adventure Park will assist MYAS in instilling a Conduct 1st Environment, beginning in March, at the 31 locations during our Minnesota Youth Grade State Basketball Championships. This tournament will feature nearly 1,500 winter community-based traveling basketball teams from around the state of Minnesota.
The MYAS/Youth 1st Conduct 1st Environment emphasizes positive conduct and good sportsmanship from players, coaches and parents. It is a simple but significant way to get everyone to: remember it’s about the kids, keep competitive energies in check, and always respect officials and opponents.
Our goal is to retain the officials we have and help attract new ones by influencing the environments they work in. Grade State officials will provide a team selection vote after each game during the tournament based on the conduct and sportsmanship exhibited by coaches, players, and fans. Teams with a positive selection to game ratio of 100% will be recognized as Youth 1st Team Award Winners. Urban Air will be a proud host of these recognition opportunities at their locations. They will provide each member of a Youth 1st Team, a complimentary Attraction Pass for their part in showing RESPECT, good behavior and conduct during the Minnesota Grade State Championships.
“All of us here at the MYAS are thrilled that Urban Air Adventure Park www.UrbanAirParks.com has chosen to www.UrbanAirParks.com Sportsmanship Initiative. Their support of this initiative and their ability to hold Youth 1st Team Award presentations at their Coon Rapids and Plymouth locations will be a wonderful way to impact participants (youth athletes, parents, and officials) in a positive way,” said Dawson Blanck, Executive Director of MYAS.
The Urban Air Adventure Park shares the same goals around active lifestyles and family play. Urban Air is an indoor adventure park with activities for all ages and athletic abilities. Open 363 days a year Urban Air is a great place to escape the pressures of every day and make life-long memories all will cherish. We look forward to their sponsorship of our Sportsmanship Initiative this year and hope you make time to go check them out soon.
Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. (www.myas.org) was organized in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving youth sports services to young athletes, coaches, parents, officials/umpires, and the parent-volunteer athletic associations. The MYAS recognizes that participation in athletics is one of the healthiest and most cost-effective options for helping young female athletes make good choices about life's many decisions. This can be achieved through promoting sportsmanship, teamwork, and cultural interaction through sporting competition as well by providing the highest quality athletic programs for Minnesota's youth athletes while linking regional volunteer youth sports programs with others statewide.
In 2015, the MYAS launched "Trusted Coaches," a nationwide platform training coaches to maximize the probability that positive things will happen to young athletes. Additionally, Trusted Coaches has created a cutting-edge education program to foster compliance with the Safe Sport Authorization Act. Her Next Play utilizes the Trusted Coaches platform to screen and educate its speakers, coaches, and volunteers to ensure the safety of its female participants during its events. The Trusted Coaches platform provides a national criminal background check, concussion training, child safety training, first-aid training, and coach character development that fosters compliance with state and federal standards. More information about this platform can be found at www.trustedcoaches.org
Why are we implementing this initiative at our Minnesota Youth Grade State Championships?
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 associations 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 and umpires retiring and not enough new officials coming in to replace them.
We believe one solution to the diminishing pool of officials and umpires is to encourage parents, coaches and officials at the youth level to partner together to make the environment more positive. New officials 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 officiate in the future.
We also believe that our initiative will foster positive conduct from coaches and spectators and, more importantly, will create a safe, positive and productive environment for all youth participating in our events, tournaments and leagues. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to youth sports!