‘Epic proportions’: UHSAA puts high school boys’ football on probation for 3 years due to high ballistics | News, sports, jobs

MATT HERP, standard examiner file image

A referee argues with a member of the Ogden High School football team asking him to leave the field while the Tigers battle Juan Diego in a boys’ college football game Friday, March 22, 2018, at the Spences Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex.

Boys in high school football in Utah were placed on probation for the next three years, which meant teams would have fewer games each season and the sport would be subject to annual evaluation.

It’s due to the increasing number of takeouts in the sport “in the realm of epic proportions than all other sports combined,” according to a scathing letter sent to high schools by the Utah High School Activities Association that described knockouts and sportsmanship issues as a statewide problem.

The letter, obtained by Standard-Examiner, did not specify how many times boys dropped out of football in the past school year; However, it did provide an amazing statistic about the outputs.

“In recorded ejections, in the 21 UHSAA-sanctioned sports in the past school year, 50% of all ejections in boys’ soccer were. ‘This is not acceptable,’” the letter states.

Of the hundreds of problem games this year, the UHSAA has overseen at least two semi-final football matches marred by yellow and red cards, including the Farmington-Herriman 6A semi-final where seven yellows and two reds were issued to Farmington and the referees needed an escort From the police to get off the stadium after the final whistle.

Late in the 3A semi-final between Morgan and Real Salt Lake Academy, things went wrong and a Morgan player was sent off with 12 seconds left. In the 6A quarterfinals, a Davis player was sent off after receiving two yellow cards against Syracuse.

Ogden-Layton Christian’s second game was a foul-filled affair that included a handful of skirmishes following the whistle, a second yellow card, a subsequent red card for Ogden, a handful of yellows to the LCA, and an injury sustained by Ogden’s goalkeeper, Rick Doran, who was caught Mistakes while trying to jump to get a cross.

These four games alone are by no means a reason to put the sport on probation, but rather examples of how prevalent expulsions have become this year.

“Sportsmanship has been a major focus at the UHSAA, with an increased focus in the past five years. The letter states that boys’ football is in direct conflict with the goals, direction and mission of the UHSAA.

The testing means boys’ soccer teams — every team in the entire state — are now allowed to play 14 games per season instead of 16. UHSAA staff and the UHSAA Executive Committee will assess the state of the sport after each season.

According to the letter, written by UHSAA Assistant Administrator Brennan Jackson, who oversees football, “If sportsmanship and directing operations do not improve, there will be a further reduction in the number of permitted competitions.”

The same decision was made by the UHSAA’s Executive Committee at its meeting last Thursday.

The committee is made up of 27 people and is made up mostly of high school principals from across the state. Each sports district is represented by one person, from District 1 in Weber and Davis Counties all the way to District 23 in southeastern Utah.

There has been talk of some sort of measure to address the increase in boys’ ejaculation (along with lacrosse) for at least the past year.

“We have been observing and discussing with our boards, not just how often boys’ football goes out, but what kind of play leads to the expulsion of player, coach, and sometimes even school officials,” the letter read.

This spring, District 1 boys’ soccer coaches, along with both boys and girls lacrosse coaches, received an email after the UHSAA met with District 1 school administrators.

The email appealed to coaches to let their players and their parents know they need to act better and warned that the UHSAA was considering putting these three sports on probation. The soccer coaches the Standard-Examiner spoke to admitted there was a behavioral problem in boys’ soccer, but questioned whether testing would solve the problem.

Davis coach Sulli Vongsavath said there is a lot of focus on coaches’ behavior because if a coach starts yelling at the referee, the fans and players aren’t far behind.

“The coaches need to control themselves, their players, their reactions to calls and things like that; that’s what he was responsible for,” said Vongsavath.

It’s not clear what other actions the UHSAA and governing entities have taken to try to quell the boy’s expulsion problem. It is also unclear what specific criteria a sport must meet to get out of probation.

A press release issued by the UHSAA five hours after the above letter was sent to schools last Thursday, said the association would not comment on the decision.

Ogden coach Todd Scott said he was frustrated that the penalty applied to every team.

“I wish they had looked at schools where, for example, I know we’ve had this problem in the past. I wish the UHSAA said if you get five (red cards) or more you’re on probation. Put a rule, four or more, or whatever. It was, not just to punish everyone. “I understand where they come from, but I wish they had set a standard or a standard,” Scott said.

This isn’t the first time boys’ soccer in the state has been put under scrutiny. The UHSAA did the same in 2007, with the difference that it targeted a few schools (Bonneville, Park City, Jordan, and Dixie), according to a Park Record article at the time.

Also, according to a KSL.com article, football boys were put on probation in the late 1990s as well.

In the 2007 season, there were 111 football dismissals between players and coaches, which at that time was the highest number of dismissals since the state imposed sanctions on the sport in 1983.

The ejection issues were adequately corrected after a 2007 decision that the sport was out of probation, but boys’ soccer is back in hot water again.

Youth football in general has had such pervasive behavioral problems that the Utah Youth Football Association, the state’s governing body for football, instituted a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy in April for the spring 2022 season.

“Any coach, parent or spectator on the field who reprimands a referee, will result in a strict season of no spectators in the future. Meaning – this team will not be allowed to have any spectators on the sidelines for the remainder of the spring season,” according to the policy.

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