The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.
The Association serves as a central organization through which its member high schools in the state may cooperate to:
Athletics were always a natural part of the high school program. As the academies and the early high schools were established in New York State, participation grew gradually. Originally, interscholastic sports were operated by outsiders, but problems developed. Local community pride engendered excesses, colleges and commercial agencies became involved, and practices inconsistent with the objectives of education were common. School authorities at fi rst opposed, then tolerated, and fi nally assumed full control of the interschool competition to correct injustices, inequities and abuses. As someone has said, "We have come a long way."
In 1921, Frank R. Wassung, Superintendent of Schools, Norwich, met with Daniel Chase, Supervisor of Physical Education in the State Education Department, to plan for a statewide organization. Schoolmen agreed to form the New York State Public High School Association of Basketball Leagues to bring consistency to eligibility rules and to conduct state tournaments. Mr. Chase, who became the fi rst president, had the encouragement of Dr. Frank P. Graves, Commissioner of Education.
To provide for additional sports, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association was established in 1923. The NYSPHSAA became a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations in 1926. After a constitution was adopted, President Chase appointed a Central Committee of 14 members, one from each section, which elected John F. Hummer, Principal, Binghamton, as chairman. The provision that each section elect a superintendent, a principal and an athletic director as representatives on the Central Committee was adopted in 1928. The Central Committee was expanded in 1975 to include a representative of girls’ athletics from each section. With the addition of these representatives of girls’ programs to the Executive Committee in 1976, the NYSPHSAA leads the nation with its decision making bodies structured for equitable input.
In 1937, at the request of this association and the Associated Academic Principals, nearly all of the NYSPHSAA Eligibility Rules were adopted by the Board of Regents and became a part of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The NYSPHSAA became incorporated in 1975. In 1978 each of the 11 sections were incorporated.
The Central Committee approved the establishment of the Athletic Protection Plan in 1932 as a service of the NYSPHSAA. Athletic Protection Plan gains recognition and was incorporated (1941) under State Insurance Law. Lawrence Grimes served as Director for 29 years (1949-78). In 1975 the corporate title was changed to Pupil Benefits Plan, Inc.
Through the years the presidents of the NYSPHSAA (p. 28) have shown effective leadership. The NYSPHSAA was strengthened under the guidance of honorary presidents Dr. Frederick Rand Rogers, Dr. Hiram A. Jones, Dr. Ellis Champlin and Dr. George H. Grover, all of the NYS Education Department.
The NYSPHSAA grew under the administration of many capable and dedicated people. Elmer K. Smith, Rochester (1923-25) and Everett T. Grout, Schenectady (1925-29) served as Secretary and Emory A. Bauer was Treasurer (1923-29). In addition to being Secretary/Treasurer (1929-1942) Frederick R. Wegner initiated and conducted the early operation of the Athletic Protection Plan. John K. Archer served as Secretary/Treasurer from 1942-75. An offi ce was established in Albany in 1962, with J. Kenneth Hafner serving as Field Representative and becoming Director of Field Services in 1970. Alton B. Doyle was appointed the fi rst full time Executive Secretary in 1975, serving until 1990. Administrative staff have included William Vesp (1977-80), Floyd Jones (1981-97) and Walter Eaton (1990-2007) as Assistant Directors and Marcus Martone (1975-92) and Gordon Durnford (1992-96) as Treasurers. Dr. Sandra Scott (1975-2000) was elected Executive Director in 1990 and became the fi rst woman executive director of a state high school athletic association in the nation. In 2000, Nina VanErk was appointed as the Executive Director. The NYSPHSAA Legal Counsel have consisted of Ron Shaw (1972-2005) and Kevin Seaman during 2005. Today the administrative staff consists of Assistant Directors Todd Nelson (2008), Joseph Altieri (2001) and Robert Stulmaker (2007), along with Treasurer Kathleen Higle (1996) and Counsel Renee James (2006). In February 2006 the NYSPHSAA moved its headquarters to 8 Airport Park Blvd., Latham, NY.
Hundreds of school representatives have contributed to the progress of our Association through their interest, service and leadership.
•Consisted of 8 sections, each represented by a superintendent, principal and director of physical education.
•Seven eligibility rules (bona fide student, age, duration of competition, amateur, transfer, outside competition, and required academics).
•Adopted "player control" rule which had captains directing game, coach in the stands.
•State Championships for boys in baseball, cross country, ice hockey, ice skating, swimming, tennis and track. Girls participated only in varsity basketball.
•State championship tournaments abolished due to charges of overemphasis and overspecialization. (1932)
•Association function to develop unifi ed standards for all sections to follow, giving sections authority to conduct own championships for boys.
•Recommended no interscholastic competition be permitted for girls in New York, substituting play days/sport days. (1934)
•Membership was extended to junior high schools.
•Postgraduate problems solved by adopting eight consecutive semester rule.
•Section Athletic Councils recognized in Constitution.
•State Sports Committees established.
•Friends and Neighbors Program initiated to permit nonmember school competition with member schools.
•Reemergence of intersectionals for individual sports beginning with cross country and track.
•Developed and initiated Modified Program for boys under leadership of Kurt Beyer.
•AWPENYS (Association of Women in Physical Education in NYS) began sponsoring coaching clinics and encouraging competition for girls.
•Winfred S. Thomason (Garden City) hired as first counsel.
•Under the leadership of Mr. Hafner and Safety Chair Louis Obourn, experimental projects for participant safety began.
•Membership in NYS Federation of Secondary School Athletic Associations. (1964)
•State Committee for Girls Athletic Activities established, initiated by Raymond Benjamin. (1966)
•New York State High School Officials Coordinating Federation initiated with William B. Gilbert as fi rst Chairman. (1967)
•Association became incorporated. (1974)
•Expanded Central Committee to include female representatives of athletics. (1974)
•Central office established with full time Executive Director and a support staff.
•1976-78 Handbook published first joint set of Eligibility Standards for boys and girls.
•Approved membership eligibility for Friend and Neighbor schools.
•Growth of team sport state championships following reinstatement of boys basketball in 1978. Approved baseball, girls basketball, field hockey, boys and girls soccer, ice hockey and softball.
•First female president elected, Michaela Kasner. (1984-86)
•Purchased building for NYSPHSAA office (1986) at 88 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY.
•Adopted policy for other state athletic associations to enter NYSPHSAA championships. (1984)
•Eliminated the Outside Competition Standard.
•Insurance group formed for NYSPHSAA and the sections to secure property and liability coverage.
•Initiated corporate sponsorship by event which includes championships and special programs.
•Development and initiation of Scholar/Athlete Team Award Program and New York Good Sports Program.
•Sponsor 29 championships and 3 intersectionals.
•Established two new standing Committees: Student Advisory Council and Budget and Finance.
•Purchased larger building for NYSPSHAA office at 8 Airport Park Blvd., Latham, NY.
•First Girls Golf Championship. (2006)
|* Daniel Chase||1923-25||* John F. Hummer||1925-26||* Seward S. Travis||1926-27||* Carl H. Burkhardt||1928-29||* Heth G. Coons||1929-31||* Herbert L. Sackett||1931-32||* Frank R. Wassung||1932-33||* Elmer K. Smith||1933-35||* Charles E. Riley||1935-37||* Frank C. Densberger||1937-39||* Foster S. Brown||1939-41||* W.Howard Vanderhoef||1941-43||* Kurt Beyer||1943-45||* Robert C. McDonald||1945-47||* Carl A. Hansen||1947-49||* David E. Panebaker||1949-51||* Ray Townsend||1951-53||* Philip J. Hammes||1953-55||* Kenneth E. Smith||1955-57||* Andrew J. Smith||1957-59||* J. Kenneth Hafner||1959-61||* W. Kenneth Doyle||1961-63|
* Larry Grimes
* Floyd Jones
New York State Public High School Athletic Association
8 Airport Park Boulevard · Latham, NY 12110
Phone: 1.518.690.0771 · Fax: 1.518.690.0775
Contact the NYSPHSAA
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