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Monday, July 10, 2017: Softball adopts automatic intentional walk

   Leading off today: The automatic intentional walk will become a rule in high school softball next season, the National Federation of State High School Associations recently announced.

   Meeting last month, the softball rules committee approved a revision allowing the catcher or her coach to request the automatic walk before or during an at-bat as a measure to speed up the process. The recommendation was subsequently OK's by the NFHS Board of Directors.

   "The Kentucky High School Athletic Association experimented with intentional walks for the 2017 season, and the response from coaches and umpires was overwhelmingly positive," Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and staff liaison for softball, said in a statement announcing the change. "The NFHS questionnaire response from constituents was also very favorable."

   In another change, it will no longer be the umpire's responsibility to inspect equipment prior to the game. The rules committee shifted responsibility for ensuring that players are legally and properly equipped to the head coach and school administration.

   All-state lineman picks UB: Elmira lineman Dan Fedor has become at least the 14th rising senior to have committed to a FBS college football program.

   The 6-foot-7 offensive lineman committed to play for the University at Buffalo, the Star-Gazette reported over the weekend.

   Fedor, also an accomplished member of the school's basketball and track teams, was named a 2016 second-team all-state pick as a junior in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association. He was also attracting attention from Albany, Colgate and some members of the Ivy League.

   "As a kid, I always wanted to go (Division) I," Fedor told the paper. "It probably wasn't until the summer going into my sophomore year that I really started thinking, 'Hey, this really could happen if I keep working.' More schools started getting in contact my junior year. Once the offers started coming in, it was a dream come true."

   Fedor is the third New York high school commitment to the Bulls from the Class of 2018. You can check here for the list of the 14 non-binding commitments we're aware of at the mometn.

   That's a loooong jump: Rising Rush-Henrietta senior Lanae-Tava Thomas now has a legal 21-foot long jump on her resume. She hit that mark exactly during the USATF Region 2 Outdoor Championships over the weekend.

   It gives her the state high school record, previously held by three others at 20-10.75. Keyon Soley (Uniondale, 1997) still holds the wind-aided mark of 21-6.75.

   Thomas' best legal jump had been 20-7½ last month at the NYSPHSAA championships, when she also had a 20-5 effort that observers swear was launched from two feet behind the board.

   Ambitious to say the last: In Illinois school that's never fielded a full squad in any team sport is going to offer football this fall for its students ... all 18 of them.

   Officials at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy in Rockford., Ill., say they have commitments from at least 13 current students and expect others to join in as well when practice starts later this summer.

   "We just need 11," Principal Lou Bageanis told the Register Star. "I wouldn't want to do that, but we are committed to doing this for the kids, and we can't let the

  

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  • conference down. We've got a full schedule we've got to keep, so if we only have 11, we're playing with 11.

       "This is a great story. If we make it to the playoffs, it would really be something. Even if we don't, it will be a great time and the kids will learn a lot."

       Opinion: One of the most foolish start-ups I ever saw was a high school fielding a boys varsity lacrosse team without the benefit of first playing at least one season at the JV level. The ideal of taking the same approach to football with so few prospects to choose from has that beat by a country mile when it comes to decisions that need further review.

       Progress: We will have an all-state baseball team to unveil near the end of the week, our editor in that sport reports.

       Later on Monday I'll be emailing reporters a heads-up on results for the NYSSWA's ninth annual Kerr Cup competition. I spoke to the athletic director from the overall champion this morning and will be posting competition results on our website July 18.

       Care to help? We ended publication of the New York State Sportswriters Association newsletter in the summer of 2012. Most of the membership fee up until then went toward the 46-50 newsletters per year, but what was left after printing and postage helped defray other expenses.

       Now, online ads cover the expense of providing rankings, news and reference material to readers of NewYorkSportswriters.org and its related sites such as RoadToSyracuse.com, which has allowed us to drop the membership fee.

       If you enjoy our content and feel inclined to help, we do maintain a page that allows contributions via credit cards and PayPal transfers and encourage you to check it out.


      
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  • 7/24: Inaugural boys all-state lacrosse team
  • 7/23: Previewing the NYSPHSAA meeting
  • 7/21: BCANY tweaks tournament roster rules
  • 7/21: Policelli says he'll transfer to LuHi
  • 7/18: Ninth annual Kerr Cup: Shen defends
  • 7/17: Lindenhurst's Ruckert picks Ohio St.
  • 7/15: Timon loses hoops coach, hires Licata
  • 7/14: All-state baseball team announced
  • 7/12: Canisius receiver Woods picks Rutgers
  • 7/10: NFHS approves softball rules changes
  • 7/8: Massena still facing a mascot issue
  • 7/6: Injured Spring Valley QB to Louisville
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