High School Sports: An Introduction

High school athletics have been responsible for launching the early careers of most major NFL and NBA athletes. But they also help you build a more well-rounded high school career (read: one that could be more attractive for college admissions personnel), as well as build social and competitive skills, discipline and organizational skills. In some cases they are also the springboard to a competitive and valuable college scholarship.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), 3.1 million girls and 4.4 million boys actively participate in high school sports across the nation and data indicates those numbers continue to climb. This is good news for a nation in which statistics for childhood obesity continue to be alarming.

Most Popular High School Sports

The most popular high school sports regularly include: football, basketball, track and field, baseball, and soccer for boys; and basketball, track and field, volleyball, and soccer for girls. It’s likely the local news outlets—TV, newspaper and online sources—cover the most competitive area match-ups. But we’re also to a point in our technological history in which you can watch your favorite high school sports teams on YouTube, or “friend” and follow teams and players on Facebook and elsewhere.

Emerging High School Sports

“Emerging” sports are those that have not enjoyed widespread popularity. Sports like lacrosse and cheerleading, or “competitive spirit squads,” may be regional favorites, or interest may be trickling down from colleges or private high schools, where lacrosse, equestrian, tennis and field hockey have long histories.

Other emerging sports to keep your sights on include: rowing, rugby, and even competitive dance.

Participating in High School Athletics

If you’re interested in a high school sport chances are good that you’ll have to try out. The most popular sports have varsity and junior varsity teams and many students show up for try-outs. But space is limited. Besides varsity and junior varsity, though, you may also have the option to participate in intramural or club sports. You get the rush without the pressure. And then again, less popular and emerging sports teams may welcome all who’d like to participate.

Getting a College Athletic Scholarship

Can you use your high school sports career to land a college scholarship? The college athletic scholarship arena is quite competitive, but with adequate advance planning and the right motivation and skills, scholarships for college sports are possible.

NCAA division I and II colleges and universities hand out many thousands of full and partial sports scholarships every year to high school athletes. In the most popular sports, these are ultra competitive. However, less competitive are athletic scholarships in less popular sports, such as swimming and diving and volleyball, among many others.

Keep in mind that if you’re a high school athlete and really want to use scholarship money to help pay for college that many community colleges and junior colleges also offer some athletic scholarships. Guess what? Many of these types of colleges “field” exceptionally competitive teams, so don’t rule them out.

High School Sports – What Types Are There?

High school sports are a great way for students to develop social skills and also ensure that they remain fit and healthy through their academic life. There are in fact a number of sporting activities and teams that students between the ages of fourteen and eighteen can partake of. Basketball, baseball, and football are perhaps the most well known though today there is also other activities such as soccer, cross country, track & field, and others that are becoming common.

It is important that all teenagers are encouraged to stay active and physically fit. In adulthood we often have very little time to dedicate to sports, therefore it is essential that young people can make the most of the opportunities available in high school. When taking part in a high school sport, students can learn about how team work is often the key to success and that when individuals pull together as a unit great possibilities can arise.

Apart from the health and social aspects of taking up a sport, being talented in a particular activity can also open the door to college scholarships.  This is can be an important consideration for students who may not be the best at academics and are looking for an edge to get into a college or university.

Many top athletes in a high school may be offered the option of one hundred per cent scholarship at a top college. In fact many well known universities and colleges, as well as professional teams, attend high school games in search of prospective talent.

It is true that the habits that are developed in school can often last a lifetime. Sports coaches that work in schools are trained in a lot more than simply getting students to achieve the best results. They can also ensure your kids develop health eating habits and build a character that is often missing from today’s society.

If a student develops a passion for a particular sport it can also help them to stay out of trouble. Teenagers who are active in their school teams are less likely to get in to trouble with their teachers or end up on the wrong side of the tracks. In today’s society there are a large number of unhealthy temptations that are common place in society such as drugs and alcohol, by being active in a sports team it can make sure that the student develops an understanding of how to behave and what is detrimental to their wellbeing.

Another important consideration is that many teenagers suffer from low self esteem. This can result in seriously problems when it comes to finding a role in later life. If they were to thrive in a sports team they can enhance their self esteem and confidence dramatically. It can be a great way for them to feel good about themselves and more so if they struggle with academic subjects.

High school is not always an easy time in a teenager’s life. By becoming a member of a sports team they will be more willing to attend school and have a positive reason for getting up in the morning.

For more information, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/high_school.html

High School Basketball

High school basketball leagues and associations have slightly different rules then those used in collegiate and professional games. As the players are between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, the regulations are tailored to this consideration. School sport promotes a competitive spirit alongside development and sportsmanship.

You may know that in the professional leagues the three point line is twenty three feet and nine inches in front of each basket. In the high school game the same line is positioned nineteen feet and nine inches from the basket. This allows still developing athletes to be able to achieve a desirable performance.

In a professional basketball game each quarter is twelve minutes in duration. This differs at the high school level in so much that the games are forty minutes in length with each quarter only lasting ten minutes. The reason is to ensure that the young players do not overexert themselves.

The rules and regulations are determined by the National Federation of State High School Associations. There is a thirty five second shot clock that is restarted each time the possession of the ball changes play. An offensive player can remain in the free throw area for a maximum of just three seconds before they must give the ball over.

Another important aspect of the high school game relates to carrying the ball. The rules that are in place dictate that a player can take only a single step after starting his dribble, this has resulted in offensive players shuffling their feet as they try to off balance the defenders. If such a move involves moving both the free foot and pivot foot the player will be penalized. A dribbler must also ensure his hand is on the top of the ball during dribbling as otherwise he will be called up for palming, the same penalty is given to those players that like to place their hand underneath the ball in an attempt to gain extra control.

High school basketball also enforces an alternate possession rule as opposed to requiring a jump ball whenever there is shared possession. The only time during a game when a jump ball is signaled is at the start of the game and at the beginning of the overtime. At any other time when there is joint possession the referee will alternate the ownership of the in bound ball between the two teams.

Most local states school sporting associations will also enforce specific regulations that players, coaches, and teams are supposed to abide by. For example they may stipulate when the season can begin and when it should end, this usually coincides with the start and finishing of the school year.

There is also usually a stipulation that students can only participate in a fixed number of quarters in a particular season. This is to ensure that the players are given an adequate amount of rest and recuperation time which if not in place would otherwise lead to physical and mental exhaustion and a deterioration in academic performance.

Additional resource links: http://www.rooseveltbasketball.org/

High School Baseball

If you have enjoyed playing in Little League and then followed this up with a stint playing baseball in your middle school, the natural progression would be to join you high school baseball team. At this level the competition is a lot more intense. Baseball is amongst the most popular sporting activities that can be taken up at high school level and unlike football it is possible to be head hunted for a professional team prior to graduating.

It is important to note that the rules that govern the high school game are very similar to that in the professional competition, though there are a few important differences. In high school baseball each team has ten players, nine of which can be in the field at one time. A designated hitter is allowed to bat in place of a particular fielder and not just as a replacement for the pitcher. The mound would be exactly sixty feet and six inches away from the home plate.

In the high school game the bases are kept ninety feet apart and are fifteen inches square. There is no safety given at first base. A baseball that bounces over the perimeter line would be termed a ground rule double. Each runner is allowed two bases though it is up to the umpire to choose to allow an additional base if he is under the belief that an extra base would have been reached if the ball was still in play.

All players taking part in the school baseball are required to wear helmets when it is their turn to bat as well as when on the base-paths. It is up to the player to decide to use a face-mask or not. All catchers must use catcher’s masks, shin guards, and chest protectors. If a catcher opts for a traditional mask this must include a throat protector, but this is not required if wearing a goalie type mask.

To be eligible for a high school team you must first of all meet classroom eligibility requirements. This would involve achieving acceptable grades and the right amount of attendance. It is also a prerequisite to complete a physical examination and be given consent by a parent or guardian.

There are certain player rules that you would need to familiarize yourself with if you are to develop a great reputation for the game. Strict pitch counts are given for each pitcher which are monitored closely by the coaches. The rules that are enforced are primarily there to ensure safer base running and to minimize risk of injury to participants.

To be considered for you local school team you will need to ensure you are in the best physical condition. The exercise programs that are used in training exist to increase flexibility and strength.

Most states have strict rules that govern schedules and workouts to minimize the risk of injury and to encourage fair play. The state will also set a limit on the number of games a team can participate in.

Learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_school_baseball_in_Japan

High School Football

High school football is one of the most enjoyed interschool sporting activities that is played in America. Also known by the name prep football, it is a sport that dates back to the development of the game back in the nineteenth century. Fast forward to today and we see that its popularity has never decreased. In fact it is a sport that has developed a huge following and a long list of traditions.

High School Football

The rules that govern high school football are established by the NFHS, otherwise known as the National Federation for State High School Associations. As the sport has the same ancestry as the college game the basic rules are the same though there are a few differences worth noting. The quarters are of twelve minutes in duration instead of fifteen. The kick-offs happen from the forty yard line whereas in the NFL and college game it takes place on the thirty inch line.

Other notable differences are that if the ball crosses the plane of a goal line during a missed field goal the referee then calls for a touchback from the twenty yard line, also each kick that crosses the goal line is instantly determined a touchback. Whether overtime is allowed depends upon the state association which is being used.

The training that is expected of players most often begins with conditioning exercises such as weightlifting and speed and agility workouts. When this begins would depend upon the state and the high school in question. It may start as early as a couple of weeks after the close of the previous season or as late as the month of August. Towards the end of the summer regular practice begins that involve daily sessions each afternoon apart from on the actual game days.

A typical high school football season would involve around ten games. The first match takes place at the start of September and the last regular season clash would occur in the middle of November. The best teams and largest schools can receive crowds of thousands of spectators and may even play at a college stadium to ensure maximum possible attendance.

Most high school football games take place on Friday evenings though they may also occur on a Thursday or Saturday. This would depend upon the available facilities such as whether or not the field has adequate illumination.

At the end of the regular season there is a short break before the playoffs begin. Regional champions would take part in elimination matches which determine the state champions. In large urban areas there are city leagues, whilst in smaller states the playoffs are seeded on a state-wide basis. Championship games take place on neutral ground, typically an NFL or college stadium large enough to hold a big crowd. These stadiums are also better suited to cope with bad weather which can occur in the month of December when the championships are decided.

The national champions are decided by mathematical formulas that take into consideration various factors such as the mean margin of victory and the strength of the seasons performances.

For more information, click here: http://www.simsburygridiron.org/