Local organization works to 'stop the madness' in youth sports

March 02, 2019 05:42 PM

One nonprofit organization is making it a mission to help stop the poor sportsmanship often seen in youth sports, especially among parents.

Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) has partnered with Youth 1st to spread awareness.

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The Grade State Basketball Tournament takes place the first two weekends in March and brings together young athletes from all across Minnesota.

"We will have over 1,500 teams participating in this tournament," said Dawson Blanck, the incoming Executive Director of MYAS.

RELATED: MSHSL faces issues retaining youth sports officials

This year, each fan will be greeted at the door with MYAS brochures.

"We just want to bring attention to, hey, let's get back to the kids and the competition and what they are doing out there, and focus on the positivity of that," said Blanck.

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It's all part of the organization's 2019 sportsmanship initiative: to help stop the madness in youth sports. The program works to get positive sportsmanship from players, coaches and parents.

"Because of the negative conduct in the stands and from the coaches, people don't want to officiate anymore, and so it's a national epidemic," said Blanck.

"I also administer other sports and it's one thing that is needed. The education for not only the parents, but also the players and the officials, and if we are all in it together, it will make it a better experience," said the director of the tournament, Kevin Johnston.

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Ashley Zilka

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