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District Football 2015-16, 2016-17
Home Page Photo League adopts District Football scheduling plan for 2015 and beyond

Minnesota State High School League schools should no longer have a reason to travel far out of state to find football opponents or play less than an eight-game regular season football schedule. The League Board of Directors today unanimously adopted a plan that places all member schools with football programs into Districts. The members of each district will divide the district into sub-districts, and then create a full schedule for each team. In nearly all cases the placement of schools will not negatively affect traditional rivalries or preferred opponents.

For several years League staff, school administrators and football coaches have sought a solution for schools that have had difficulty filling their regular season football schedule. A committee of coaches, athletic administrators and Board members developed a District Football Scheduling System that was approved by the Board in January. A separate District Placement Committee made up of coaches and administrators worked hard to group schools into districts based on enrollment, geography and like schools, while also considering individual school preferences for maintaining traditional opponents.

"Everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a step in the process of developing actual schedules for our member schools," explained Associate Director Kevin Merkle in presenting the plan to the Board. "Some districts have a wide range in school enrollment and geography, but once the districts determine their sub-district alignments, most of the enrollment and geographical issues will be solved."

The recommendation approved by the Board of Directors included:
  • Placement of all schools in a scheduling district
  • Final decision on appeals from schools who requested to be placed in 9-Man
  • Bylaws to guide the work of each district
  • Allowing limited inter-district play upon approval of the Board of Directors
  • A plan for the initial meetings for each district that will be lead by members of the District Football Placement Committee.

    The 10-member District Football Placement Committee met five times since mid-March to place schools in districts, using enrollment, geography, like schools and current conference membership and current opponents as key criteria. Schools were given the opportunity to provide information to the committee in advance, including three teams that they would like to continue to schedule. Those requests were reviewed carefully and were met to the extent possible. More than 90 percent of the schools' requests were met, and a significant majority of schools were placed in a district with most, if not all, of the schools that they now play.

    Districts will have initial meetings in the near future to discuss the placements and the next steps in the process. The next major step will be for districts to decide on sub-district alignments. Once that is completed, schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons can be developed. The goal is for all schools to have a complete schedule for both years by Nov. 1, 2014.

    "We are indebted to the members of the District Football Placement Committee for their diligence and hard work in this process," Merkle told the Board, "They put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort and their focus was always on doing what was best for our member schools and their students."

    To view the new football districts listing the schools placed in each district, click on the link below.
  • District Lists and Maps
    Reprinted with permission from Kulka TJ Kenney WI. Heat balance limits in football uniforms: how different uniforms ensembles alter the equation. Phys Sportsmed 2002:30(7):29-39.
  • Green Line: Regular practices with full practice gear can be conducted for conditions that plot to the left of the green line.
  • Red Line: Cancel all practices when the temperature and relative humidity plot to the right of the red line. Practices may be moved into air-conditioned spaces.
  • Between Red and Yellow Lines: Increase rest to work ratio with breaks every 20 minutes and all protective equipment should be removed to practice in shorts only when the temperature and relative humidity plot between the red and yellow lines.
  • Between Yellow and Green Lines: Increase rest to work ratio with breaks every 30 minutes and wear shorts with helmets and shoulder pads only when the temperature and relative humidity plot between the yellow and green lines.
  • Heat risk rises with increasing heat and relative humidity. Fluid breaks should be scheduled for all practices and increased as the heat stree rises.
  • Add 5 degress to temperature between 10 AM and 4 PM from mid May to mid September on bright, sunny days.
  • Practices should be modified to reflect the conditions for the safety of the athletes.
    Using the heat guidelines

    Lookup Current Conditions for Zip Code: 
    The heat stress graph is designed to give a competition safety estimate in hot, humid conditions. It is most relevant for long distance running and prolonged high intensity events like Lacrosse, Soccer, Football, and Tennis. It should be applied to practices and games.

    Using a weather radio or local radio station, collect the air temperature and relative humidity data every hour during the event and plot it on the relative humidity Vs air temperature graph. In the late spring and summer months on bright sunny days a correction factor of up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit should be added to the air temperature from 10 AM to 5 PM. This should be plotted as a bar rather than a single point to give and estimate of maximum and minimum heat stress.

    The decision to cancel or postpone an event should be made when the heat stress moves into the danger range. Although competition can be continued in the other ranges for increased heat stress risk, coaches and athletes should be aware that hypothermia and exertional heat stroke could occur in the lower risk ranges. Track and cross country runners should stay out of the heat between events and stay well hydrated. A rest break should be provided in activities that require continuous activity like soccer and tennis.

    Additional Resources:
  • ACSM renews caution for preseason training: Death by heat in youth activities is preventable
  • Heat and Stress: Role of the Uniform - What does it take to keep your players from overheating?
  • Read the article written by Dr. William O. Roberts, a member of the League’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, Death in the heat: Can football heat stroke be prevented?
  • Read about Heat Stress & Athletic Participation
  • Review Intravenous versus Oral Rehydration: Which is best for your athletes?
  • Review how to recognize a Heat-Related Ilness

    Coaches Checklist:
  • Follow the Heat Index shown
  • Watch kids closely
  • Take lots of breaks
  • Make sure athletes are hydrated
  • Athletes who take antihistamines or beta blockers may be at a greater risk
  • Trust Kids . . . They know what their bodies can take.
  • Don't let peer pressure force kids to make decisions that may cause harm

    For Years, Volleyball Has Been A Family Affair At Hopkins
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 9/17/2014 2:29:41 PM

    Nine years ago this week, I wrote a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Hopkins volleyball coach Vicki Seliger Swenson, who was about to give birth to twins. Back then, she and her husband Erik Swenson had one child, eight-year-old Samantha.

    That story, from Oct. 14, 2005, included this passage:

    --While mom and dad are anxious, big-sister-to-be is pumped. Samantha - the back of her shirt said “Lil' Swens” at Tuesday's match - cannot wait for the happy occasion. (She was a February baby, by the way, which made the whole thing much easier for all.) “She is pretty excited about this whole thing," Erik said. "She is a huge volleyball fan, a gym rat, she's at all of Vicki's practices, she goes to all the tournaments, all that stuff."--

    On Tuesday evening I checked in with Vicki and Samantha (pictured) once again. Samantha Seliger Swenson is now a senior volleyball star on her mom’s team at Hopkins. Samantha, who has committed to the University of Minnesota, is ranked as the No. 8 recruit in the country by prepvolleyball.com, is a USA Today All-American and had been listed on virtually every state and national all-star team.

    When I asked Samantha what she remembers from that 2005 season, she smiled and said, “I remember that Hopkins went to state that year and there were so many exciting things happening. My mom was having twins, I was going to be a big sister, the team was going to state. That was a really happy time.”

    Six days after that 2005 story was published, Vicki gave birth to Stella and Olivia. Less than a year later, the family dynamic changed dramatically when Vicki’s sister Teri Lee and her boyfriend Tim Hawkinson were murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Lee’s four children were in the home when the crime took place; their father had been killed in a car accident a few years earlier.

    Vicki and Erik adopted Teri’s children, and the family immediately was too large for its small home. Through the television program “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,” a spacious new home was built for the family of 10.

    Now, niece Taylor is a junior at Marquette University, nephews Tyler (senior) and Trevor (sophomore) play football at Hopkins, niece Tara is a ninth-grader on the Hopkins varsity volleyball team, Stella and Olivia (who will turn nine on Saturday) are starting to play volleyball and six-year-old Eva will soon be doing the same.

    Vicki, who helped author legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, gave up teaching when the twins were born and has devoted her life to her family. Erik, who was the head football coach at Blake in 2005, now teaches social studies and is an assistant football coach at Hopkins.

    As Samantha plays for her mom in her final year of high school, she is grateful for the lessons she has learned.

    “She’s a role model in all aspects of life, not just volleyball,” Samantha said Tuesday at Eden Prairie, where the Class 3A top-ranked Eagles defeated the eighth-ranked Hopkins Royals 3-0.

    “She’s kind of taught me everything I know. I’ve been with volleyball and with her at all times, and it’s kind of shaped me into what I value and how I look at things. Having someone who supports me so much and is always there with me is pretty special.”

    Vicki said, “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I looked at the schedule and realized we have three home matches left. So the reality is starting to sink in. We’ve been pretty spoiled with her in our program for six years.”

    Samantha has basically run the show from her setter position for years and years. When she was in eighth and ninth grade, college coaches told Vicki that the youngster played like a college setter because she knew so much about the nuances of the game.

    “Coaches like coach’s kids or little sisters for that reason, because they’ve grown up with the sport,” Vicki said.

    Samantha’s decision to play for the Gophers was easy, despite some thoughts early in the process about attending college in California.

    “When I was in middle school I thought I would want to go to Cal Berkeley or Stanford,” she said. “But then I realized if I went to California my family would only be able to go to a couple games a year, so it was really important to choose the U because they will be there at every match.

    “I know how much I enjoyed watching volleyball when I was younger, and to have my little sisters watch me play is really important, too. Definitely being close to home is important.”

    Samantha grew up with her mom’s volleyball teams, hanging around at practice, traveling to road matches and basically soaking everything up.

    “I think she played on my ninth-grade team for about seven years, unbeknownst to me,” Vicki said with a laugh. “Because she would just disappear at practice. Most kids want to go to the after-school care, but she would choose to walk over to my gym and play with a ball, play with the older girls.”

    And now, history is repeating itself. Stella and Olivia, who were the focus of a newspaper article before they were born, are now hanging around at practice, watching the Royals play, soaking it all up.

    “They’re doing the same as Sam,” said Vicki.

    *Schools/teams John has visited: 30
    *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 2,116
    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

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