Girls’ youth basketball named top award winners
Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) in strategic partnership with Youth 1st, Federated Insurance, Pearson, Cashwise, Bennerotte & Associates, Jaguar Communications, The Retrofit Companies, U.S. Bank, Profinium, Pizza Ranch, Heartland Chevy Dealers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Institute for Athletic Medicine, and Urban Air Adventure Parks have selected Girls Youth Basketball teams from across Minnesota as the recipient of a Youth 1st Team Award for their outstanding sportsmanship during the 2020 MYAS Grade State Championships, held March 7-8, at 14 locations across the Twin Cities metro area.
Youth 1st, a non-profit organization headquartered in Owatonna, is an official Playball! MN Partner of the Minnesota Twins.
As the premier youth basketball event in the state of Minnesota, the Grade State Championships is about showcasing the kids and competition, not the negativity of unsportsmanlike behavior of players, coaches, and spectators that tends to creep into youth events. For the second consecutive year, MYAS and Youth 1st are excited to recognize the teams and associations that received exemplary scores from the officials for their sportsmanship and positive conduct during the tournament.
The Youth 1st Team Award recognizes positive behavior from players, coaches and everyone associated with the team (parents, fans and spectators). “We are placing the emphasis on how you play the game, which is ultimately more important than if you win or lose.” said Mark Arjes, founder/director of Youth 1st. “It has become increasingly difficult to find and retain coaches and officials for youth sports because of the abuse that they take during games. We believe it is time to model and encourage values-based actions, creating what we call a Conduct 1st environment where the focus is on the kids, competitive energies are kept in check and officials and opponents are respected.”
“One of the goals within the MYAS mission is to promote sportsmanship, teamwork and cultural interaction through sporting competition,” said Dawson Blanck, MYAS executive director. “The entire MYAS team is thrilled to be able to partner with Youth 1st to help us meet those goals within our programs. As a leader in youth sports throughout the great state of Minnesota, we want to be proactive and impact participants (youth athletes, coaches, parents, and officials) in a positive way through a Conduct 1st environment at all our tournaments and events. Implementing this initiative with Youth 1st during the Grade State Championships has significantly decreased the number of unsportsmanlike events that took place compared to previous years.”