2019 MYAS/Youth1st Sportsmanship Initiative

2019 Youth 1st/MYAS Sportsmanship Initiative will be a focus of the 29th Annual Grade State Championships in March!

The MYAS Grade State Basketball Championships have become the largest youth basketball tournament in the state of Minnesota and possibly the nation, with over 1,500 teams annually competing for the opportunity to call themselves champions! As our premier event, the MYAS wants the focus to be on the kids and competition, not the negativity of unsportsmanlike behavior of players, coaches, and spectators that tends to creep into youth events. In order to focus on sportsmanship, reduce conflict and increase team and game official retention, the MYAS has partnered with Youth 1st to create a Conduct 1st Environment at our Girls and Boys Grade State Championships in March, 2019.

Why are we implementing this initiative at our Grade State Championships and why are you being made aware of it as a youth basketball official? 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 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 retiring and not enough new officials coming in to replace them. We believe one solution is to encourage parents, coaches and officials at the youth levels to partner together to make the environment more positive. New officials most likely get introduced to officiating at the youth levels. 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.

The Youth 1st Team Awards program 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 in which they work.

Conduct 1st Environment Instructions for Officials

Process: WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please help us create a Conduct 1st Environment during the MYAS Grade State Basketball Championships by working with the MYAS Tournament Director and implementing these simple steps:

  1. Referees will receive two Pocket Reminder business cards from the score keeper for each of the first two rounds of games of the tournament.
  2. The referee will hand one Pocket Reminder card to the head coach from each team during the pre-game meeting, reminding them of the emphasis on Conduct and Sportsmanship and to share the card with other coaches and team parents. (First two rounds of the tournament – each team should receive two cards)
  3. After EVERY GAME, the referees designate their vote on the official MYAS score sheet (found at the score table) for the team or teams that display positive conduct and good sportsmanship.
  4. The referees may select one, both, or none for each game played. PLEASE VOTE AFTER EVERY GAME DURING THE ENTIRE TOURNAMENT.


Thank you for officiating the MYAS Grade State Basketball Championships! We greatly appreciate you staying involved with sports and providing a valuable service to youth basketball!