MSHSAA appoints activites under sponsorship


Photo by Daphne Yu

Kaitlyn Marsh

Photo by Daphne Yu
Photo by Daphne Yu

This spring, after many years of appearing on the ballot to be appointed under the Missouri State High School Athletic Association sponsorship, starting the 2013-2014 school year, bass fishing will be regarded as a MSHSAA activity along with target shooting, chess and bowling. …what activities have previously been regarded as possible clubs in the RBHS community, these “emerging sports” now can form a team, gain recognition under MSHSAA, compete with Missouri schools and participate in MSHSAA state and regional championships.

Target shooting, bowling, chess and bass fishing are “basically special interest groups that who want to go under the MSHSAA umbrella,” Athletic Director, Dr. Jen Mast said. “We have a RBHS chess team that’s loosely affiliated with RBHS, but now they can be an official RBHS team that can attend competitions.”  

While MSHSAA already sponsors various events in addition to sports such as debate, band and scholar bowl, these three, newly appointed emerging sports almost double the list of verified activities under MSHSAA and are “basically a step up from a club” with their new status, Mast said. However, now obligated to obey the requests of a sponsored activity or sport, this may rear a few downsides.

Due to the MSHSAA handbook for 2013, an eligible student must attend seven of eight credit hours a semester, establish residency at designated school, pass 80% of credit class in previous semester and abide by transfer policies. Every student participating in a MSHSAA activity or sport must meet this criteria, Mast said.

“It just depends on how you want to look at it,” she said. “If we did have a bass fishing club and all they did was bass fish and they met twice a month, if they wanted to start competing in bass fishing, then it’s an advantage to join MSHSAA. But, you’ll also have some people in bass fishing club that don’t meet the MSHSAA requirements. … If [a club or activity] wants to choose to come under that MSHSAA umbrella, then every kid in that has to fit under the MSHSAA guidelines.”

However, aside from the drawbacks, MSHSAA Communications Director Jason West raves about the amenities and opportunities MSHSAA can offer the activities under their sponsorship. Besides recognition and competition status, West also believes these activities can only bring the student body closer.

“I think this is a good thing for a number of schools because this is one more [way], if you will, to have for students to be involved with their schools and promoting spirit of community. This may involve students that aren’t on the football team, the basketball team, they aren’t a wrestler…but they do play chess or they do go fishing a lot and could be a member of the bass fishing team, they could be a member of the 4H club of FFA…[adding these sports as sanctioned MSHSAA activities] just gets students more involved in school activities and promotes participation.”

In light of the immense amount of recognition sports teams receive for their accomplishments, the fact that academic teams and lesser known sporting teams may now gain appreciation is comforting and gratifying, senior former football player Stephen Lancey said.

“I think that’s actually kind of cool [to sanction those activities],” Lancey said. “It’d be nice for people that maybe don’t like contact sports to have something to contribute to their school. Besides, I think it’d be interesting to see a bass fishing match.”

By Kaitlyn Marsh