International Physical Fitness Test

FOREWARD

The United States Sports Academy, in
cooperation with the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, presents the Arab
world with its own International Physical Fitness Test Manual based on norms
collected and processed on Arab youth, ages 9 to 19. This fitness test is
one of the few developed outside the Western world and is believed to be
the only such test battery that measures the basic components of all physical
activity, i.e. speed, strength, suppleness, and stamina.

This test was introduced to 199 physical
education teachers by Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich on 15 January 1977 in Manama.
This test was initially developed by the International Committee for Physical
Fitness Testing in Tokyo in 1964 at which time Dr. Rosandich served that
committee as its first Secretary.

On 16 January, this two-day test battery,
made up of the 50-meter sprint, standing long jump, grip strength, 1000-meter
run, 30-second sit-up, pull-up, 10-meter shuttle run, and trunk flexion,
was administered to 500 boys of the Manama Secondary School. The test was
coordinated by Dr. Bob Grueninger, Director of Fitness and Research and
administered by him and Dr. Bob Ford, Dr. Lawrence Bestmann, Vic Godfrey,
James Kampen, Bruce Mitchell, and Larry Nosse, along with their counterparts,
the inspectors and teachers of the Ministry of Education.

The Academy faculty and their counterparts
eventually tested over 20,000 boys and girls, but not before the components
of the test were re-evaluated and modified to better reflect the environment
in which it was delivered. The initial test information was presented by
Dr. Rosandich and Dr. Grueninger at the First Middle East Sports Science
Symposium (MESS I) in April of 1977. The physical performance tables were
developed in coordination with the Academy team in Bahrain and the Chairman
of Fitness and Research at the Academy’s home office in Mobile, Alabama,
then located on the campus of the University of South Alabama. Instrumental
in developing these tables were two computer experts, Dr. George Uhlig and
Dr. Bill Gilley, both members of the Academy’s National
Faculty.

During MESS II, in April of 1978, the
Academy did a special study to evaluate the I.C.P.F.T. battery for possible
revision. In addition to the Academy coaching team in Bahrain, we brought
aboard Dr. Richard Berger, Temple University, and Dr. Bob Stauffer, West
Point, both members of the Academy’s National Faculty. This combined team
tested the Bahrain Defense Force Personnel and reached the following conclusions,
which in essence are reflected in this test manual.

1. The test battery was changed from a
two-day test battery to a one-day battery for purposes of efficiency and
because the test administered over two days in the heat of the Middle East
impacted severely upon the individual students and their second-day
performances.

2. The test battery was reduced from eight
components to five components that reflected effectively those components
needed in sport and eliminated costly equipment such as the hand dynamometer,
that often malfunctioned in field testing.

The test battery is as
follows:

1. 50-meter test, relative power, speed

2. Pull-up, relative strength, strength

3. 10-meter shuttle run, relative power, speed and suppleness

4. Back throw, absolute power, speed and suppleness

5. 1,000-meter run, aerobic/anaerobic capacity, stamina

The above test was coordinated by Dr.
Grueninger and Dr. Gary Hunter with over 20,000 Bahraini children tested.
The results of this test are found in this manual and wer presented for the
first time internationally by Dr. Rosandich during the Asian Games in Bangkok,
Thailand, in December of 1978. Subsequently, the test battery was adopted
in more than 21 nations. Since the initial presentation, the test has been
modified by replacing the pull-up with the flexed-arm hang based on data
collected in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

During MESS III, in April of 1979, the
leadership of the International Committee for Physical Fitness Research,
including the organization’s president, Dr. Ladislav Novak, and members,
Dr. Leonard Larson (USA), Dr. Roy Shepherd (Canada), and Dr. Ishiko (Japan),
attended the symposium, as observers of Bahrain’s leadership role in physical
fitness, research and sport medicine. Bahrain, under the leadership of the
Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, developed not only the finest sport
medicine and research centers found in the Middle East but also programs
reflecting research, such as this Physical Fitness Test Manual. Thus, the
I.C.P.F.T. named Bahrain its research center for the Middle East. Subsequently,
the Arab Sport Medicine Council moved its headquarters from Tunisia to Bahrain,
which is yet another indication of Bahrain’s leadership in fitness and
research.

The Academy has been privileged to work
with the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport — now known as the General
Organization of Youth and Sport — and its many constituencies, e.g. the
Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior,
and the Ministry of Defense, in the development of this International Physical
Fitness Test, which in fact is a major contribution to the world of sport
education.


Scorecard

Test Procedures

  1. 50-Meter
    Dash
  2. Flexed-Arm Hang
  3. Shuttle-Run
  4. Back Throw
  5. Distance Run
  6. Standing Long Jump


Supplementary Test

Evaluation Charts

  1. Height
  2. Weight
  3. 50-Meter Dash
  4. Flexed-Arm Hang
  5. Shuttle Run
  6. Back Throw
  7. Distance Run
  8. Standing Long Jump
  9. Body Composition
  10. Grip Strength

The Sun May Set at Last Over the Union

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA. This past week
on campus at the United States Sports Academy we had Tan Sri Dato’ Elyas
Omar, the former Lord Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, the magnificent capital city
of Malaysia, to receive an honorary doctorate during our 26th Annual Graduation
Celebration.

Dato’ Elyas served for more than a decade
as the Lord Mayor of Kuala Lumpur and was perceived to be the second most
powerful man in Malaysia next to the Prime Minister. He had a rather unlimited
budget during the heyday of Malaysia, when they were showing a national growth
of nearly 20% per year. He built the very beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur,
a mix between Asian and Western architecture, into a bustling capital city
with buildings that are the highest in Asia, and a fast transit system that
takes the people from one end of the city to the other, over the bustling
streets of bazaars. He maintained the beauty of the traditional British railway
stations, except this one features Islamic architecture, which is not what
one would see in Victoria station in London. The same is true with many of
the buildings including City Hall, the Parliament and the Selangor Sports
Club in the heart of the city.

Tan Sri Dato Elyas Omar is a great sport
enthusiast who built a sport complex equal to no other in the world. It is
capable of hosting a major international competition, including the Commonwealth
Games that will commence 10 September 1998. He not only built the sport complex
but, in collaboration with the United States Sports Academy, led their badminton
team to the world title (The Thomas Cup) in 1995. More importantly, he led
the bid for the Commonwealth Games which is a reflection of the British Empire
Games that was started in 1930. It was often written before the start of
World War II that the sun would never set on the Union Jack (the name for
the British flag) in the British Empire. This Empire virtually disintegrated
with the invasion of Asia by the Japanese Imperial Armies in the early 40’s.
However, the last of the great British Empire in the Far East came to a halt
with the transfer of ownership of Hong Kong to the Peoples Republic of China
in July 1997.

The Commonwealth Games is often called
the Friendly Games because the early structure of the competition focused
on individual performances rather than team competitions. How can anyone
imagine there would be an international competition developed by the British
without football (soccer) or even cricket, as that was and has been the structure
of the Games until this Games being hosted in Malaysia.

Malaysia is the first Asian country (Third
World) that has hosted these competitions. Many people have been more than
concerned. From the beginning there has been an ill wind (ghost wind called
ungan in Malaysian) blowing hot and cold. It is made up of traditional British
games with players all dressed in white suit and tie, who “out snooker” one
another by bowling iron balls on a grass surface maintained to the quality
of a golf green one would find at Augusta, Georgia. If you wish, you can
take in a friendly game of squash and, of course, tennis, given the Wimbledon
tradition, as well as a wide variety of traditional British sports that one
would watch while enjoying afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches on the
veranda.

The general prediction from the Western
world is that the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia is heading for dire straits
even though they had an unlimited budget and the Director of Games (the former
Chief of Staff of the Army), who is the brother-in-law of Prime Minister
Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. Incidentally, he is as anti-American
as anyone can be, particularly since Malaysia has gone through an economic
nosedive, like all of Asia during the past year.

As always in Southeast Asia, whether it
be the current financial crisis or anything else, there are always confrontations
between the countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN). Alarm bells are going off on many fronts even though the Malaysians
are doing everything in their power to muffle the problems, from facilities
to the difficulties they are currently facing with Indonesian immigrant workers
who are being abused in Malaysia. This could well boil over into the world’s
hottest and stickiest capitals (where on a good day, one needs to change
shirts at least three times a day).

There have been some concerns about the
athletes who oftentimes end up on the low end of the totem pole in most
international competitions, particularly as it relates to the heat and the
very high and dangerous levels of smog in Malaysia – a result of the on-going
forest fires that have affected the region for most of this past
year.

The fires that continue to burn in Borneo
were set by the Indonesian leadership to clear the forest for agriculture.
The Australian and New Zealand doctors indicate that the athletes may have
to wear masks during the competitions. However, the Malaysians are promising
that the smog will not reappear. This is hard to imagine since the fires
are burning underground in Borneo and there is no way to put them out. I
cancelled my last trip a year ago to the SEA Games in Jakarta because of
the smog, but I will be going to Malaysia in the coming weeks as a credentialed
VIP to observe this competition.

The Games now includes two team sports,
rugby but not football and, of course, at long last the friendly game of
cricket. New Zealand, Australia, and the Fiji Islands are among the best
rugby nations in the world in which they rule as king of all sports. Cricket,
of course, is part of the normal fare throughout the Old Empire, just like
tea and crumpets.

We all hope that the prevailing winds
that blow in September will cool the temperature, but it is clear that the
super stars of the athletic world are more than likely the ones to be cooled
toward the Friendly Games where the cash prizes are not there, making these
Games something of an anachronism. Actually, the Friendly Games, founded
during the days of the British Empire, no longer fits the image and philosophy
or even the world sport schedules as it did in the days of the magnificent
rubber plantations of Malaysia. Today’s competitors do not want to run for
fun, like the old school bash that they had once a year. Simply, they want
cash.

Secondly, the Friendly Games does not
provide the global platform that sponsors seek, particularly now that it
is being held within weeks of the World Cup in Soccer when the television
budget has drained the sponsors. In fact, this Games will be held three weeks
after the European Championships and in the middle of the IAAF Grand Prix
Final in Moscow and the Track and Field World Cup in South Africa. The kicker
on this whole Games format is, while one understands top track athletes running
for money, it is shocking that the British are not sending either a cricket
or a rugby team to this competition due to a long and tiring
season.

The saving grace for the XVI Commonwealth
Games, which may lack the Superstar glamor, is that the Malaysians will no
question put on a superb spectacle. Despite the economic turmoil, this will
be the largest Commonwealth Games ever held, with more than 6,000 athletes
from 67 nations utilizing 26 venues in and around Kuala
Lumpur.

The Commonwealth Games is really run like
a small town theater production. There are those who would like to see the
event reshaped and stripped of its last vestiges of Colonialism to enter
the arena like the Olympic Games, with all the top level competitive sports
rather than adopting new programs like cricket. Meanwhile, there have been
subtle political changes. Rather than having the Queen of England open the
Games (as she has for the last 16), they will be opened by the King of Malaysia.
The Queen has been relegated to the closing ceremonies.

In 1998 the Games in Malaysia is only
the second time it has been held outside of the Mother Country and its dominions,
e.g., Canada and Australia. The next Games is scheduled to be back in the
UK in Manchester in 2002. It is clear that the alarm bells are going off
a second time as Manchester has indicated they will have to scale down the
Games unless the British government comes forth with a subsidy of nearly
40 million pounds, which is not likely to happen.

With the global sport picture becoming
so congested, it may be that the Commonwealth Games as the British Empire
knows and loves it has had its day in the sun with the Union Jack being hauled
down maybe for the last time. The sad question is, is there anyone who really
cares? Meanwhile Malaysians are undaunted by all these questions. They have
already put their bid in for the next Summer Olympic Games following the
Olympic motto — higher, further and faster. Good luck.

Pep Talks – Why Didn’t My Team “Win One for the Gipper”?

From Knute Rockne, the basketball
movie “Hoosiers,” and many other highly publicized
“win one for the Gipper” speeches, we have observed
the magical powers of the pregame pep talk. In fact, today it
is widely believed that coaches must give their team an emotional
message before sending them into competition. Unfortunately,
what has been forgotten over the years is that the pep talk is
just one type of arousal adjustment technique, a tool to be used
only under certain circumstances. Furthermore, as the following
example illustrates, raising the emotional level of every player
on the team may have disastrous consequences.

Game-Day USA

During today’s precompetition
activities, Steve is extremely excited and nervous. Today marks
the first time that his parents are able to attend one of his
games and he is beginning to feel the pressure of having to live
up to their unrealistic expectations. Next to him, sits Jerome.
Jerome has just completed his typical pregame routine. He is
both mentally and emotionally ready to play. Rafael, on the other
hand, appears listless and bored. He shows no energy or emotion,
acting as if he is only going through the motions.

Rah! Rah!

Just before taking
the field, Coach delivers a rousing win-one-for-the-Gipper pep
talk that raises the emotional level of every player on the team.
Caught up in the emotional intensity of the moment, the athletes
sprint onto the field where they immediately make crucial mistakes
and play poorly. In fact, two-thirds of the team members are
playing one of their poorer games of the season. Coach turns
to his assistants and asks “What happened? I thought they
were ready to play.”

Relationship Between Arousal
and Athletic Performance

An examination of the
relationship between arousal and athletic performance may provide
some answers. In sport, arousal refers to the energizing function
of the body that varies from deep sleep to intense excitement.
Sport researchers believe that the relationship between arousal
and performance takes the form of an inverted-U. In other words,
when the athlete’s level of arousal is fairly low, the athlete
will perform poorly. He or she is typically sluggish and under-excited.
With a moderate increase in arousal, the athlete should perform
up to his or her capabilities. However, once the athlete reaches
a state of having too much arousal, performance will suffer.
Thus, it is predicted that best performances occur at moderate
levels of arousal.

The Importance of Individualized
Arousal Adjustment Strategies

This critical relationship
between arousal and athletic performance is why coaches can no
longer haphazardly use a blanket approach when preparing athletes
for competition. The use of arousal adjustment techniques such
as the pep talk need to be individualized so that all players
enter competition at the level of readiness which is conducive
to his or her best performance. To further clarify this idea,
let’s reflect on the experiences of our three athletes.
Steve, who was already too excited and nervous became so over-aroused
that he had problems containing his emotions. An inability to
concentrate caused him to play poorly. Similarly, Jerome was
shifted from an optimal state of moderate arousal to being sky-high.
He started trying too hard which negatively affected his performance.
The only player to benefit from the pep talk was Rafael. His
emotional-readiness reached an optimal level which allowed him
to play well. Thus, while the pep talk helped one player, it
also negatively affected two others. A more perceptive coach
would have realized that, in this scenario, Steve needed to be
calmed down to reach his ideal level of readiness. Likewise,
the only thing that Jerome needed was the assurance that he was
indeed ready.

Summary

As coaches, we can
no longer risk hurting the performance of two out of every three
players on the team by employing a one-technique-fits-all philosophy.
Instead, we need to focus on having every player reach his or
her optimal level of emotional arousal. Therefore, prior to your
next pregame pep talk ask yourself “Do I really want to
raise the arousal level of everyone on the team?”

Exercise Testing and Prescription for the Senior Population

Introduction

Today, the average of life expectancy has gone up in the United States (U.S.) and is expected to increase even more in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Census (1994) predicted there will be more than 40 million people over 65 years old in the year 2010. The growth in the senior population of the U.S. is a similar trend throughout the world. Consequently, the health, fitness and well-being of the senior population are of increasing concern in today’s society.

Aging is a normal biological process in human beings involving the gradual alteration of body structure, function, and tolerance to environmental stress. From approximately age 30, effectiveness of various physiological functions begins a subtle decline that becomes more obvious around age 55-60. However, physiological aging does not occur at the same rate throughout the population. At the present, it is difficult to distinguish reasons of decline in physiological functions. The reasons could be from advancing age, deconditioning from physical inactivity, disease, or any combination of them (ACSM, 1995).

There is a biological and a chronological age. Biological age focuses on senescent changes in biological and physiological processes, whereas chronological age focuses on elements of calendar time. An individual who is 70 years of age may have a biological age of 45, based on his/her health and fitness status. Biological age may be reduced by regularly participating in a well-designed physical fitness program. Nakurma, et al. (1989) found that active elderly men who followed a regular exercise program were able to significantly lower their biological age with improvement in functional capacity and maximal aerobic power. This may explain that normal aging processes account only for  a portion of the loss of physiological function; physical inactivity accounts for greatest amount of the loss with age (Poehlman et al., 1991). This loss from physical inactivity is avoidable through adequate and regular exercise.

The benefits of physical activity for older individuals are well documented. It improves cardiorespiratory function, reduces risk factors for coronary artery disease, and most importantly enhances of the ability to perform daily activities (Blair, 1993; Huhn, 1993). There is no clear evidence that exercise will improve longevity, but there is little doubt that it improves the quality of life in old age. It maintains endurance, strength, and joint mobility while it reduces the incidence and severity of hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this paper is to provide general guidelines of effective and safe exercise testing and prescription for the senior adult population. The physiological changes accompanying advancing age which influence exercise should be considered in the design of effective and safe exercise programs for the senior population.

Physiological Changes With Aging
The study of physiological changes with aging come from data collected from different cross-sectional and longitudinal studies (Table 1). It is crucial to have knowledge of the physiological changes of aging in order to have a safe and effective exercise program for older individuals. With advancing age, there are gradual decreases in basal metabolic rate (BMR), bone density, maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max), muscle mass, muscle strength, and range of motion (ROM).

 

Table 1
Effects of Exercise Training and Aging
Variables  

Aging
 

Exercise Training
Resting heart rate  

Little or no change
 

Decreases
Maximal cardiac output  

Decreases
 

Increases
Resting & exercise blood pressure  

Increases
 

Decreases
Maximal oxygen uptake  

Decreases
 

Increases
HDL  

Decreases
 

Increases
Reaction time  

Decreases
 

Increases
Muscular strength  

Decreases
 

Increases
Muscle endurance  

Decreases
 

Increases
Bone mass  

Decreases
 

Increases
Flexibility  

Decreases
 

Increases
Fat-free body mass  

Decreases
 

Increases
Precent body fat  

Increases
 

Decreases
Clucose tolerance  

Decreases
 

Increases
Recover time  

Increases
 

Decreases
(ACMS Guidelines for Exercising and Prescription, 1995)

The benefits associated with exercise are well documented showing the enhancement of the ability to perform daily activities in old age (Table 1). Most of the physiological changes of aging can be improved with regular exercise training.
Exercise Testing
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that older individuals should obtain a medical clearance from their physician prior to maximal exercise testing and before their participation in vigorous exercise. In addition, health screening of the participant should be conducted in order to optimize safety during exercise testing and participation to develop an individualized, safe and effective exercise prescription.

After the completed health screening, the participant should have a pre-exercise evaluation which will provide a baseline measure of body composition, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscle strength. The protocols for testing older individuals need to be modified for any special needs they may have. The ACSM provided factors to be considered when selecting an exercise testing protocol for older individuals (Table 2).

 

Table 2
Factors to Be Considered When Selecting an Exercise Testing Protocal for Older Adults
Characteristic  

 

Suggested Test Modification
Low VO2 max  

Start at low intensity (2-3 METs)
More time to attain a steady state  

Long warm-up (>3 min), small increments in work rate (0.5-1.0 MET per stage), longer stages
Increase fatigability  

Reduce total test time (ideally 8-12)
Increase need to monitor ECG, blood pressure, and heart rate  

Cycle ergometer preferred
Poor balance  

Cycle ergometer preferred
Poor ambulatory ability  

Increase treadmill grade rather than speed
Poor neuromuscular coordination  

Increase amount of practice, may require more than one test
(ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 1995, p.230)

These baseline measures are very useful in the development of exercise prescription and educating participants in physical fitness and their individual status.

Exercise Prescription
The American College of Sports Medicine (1991) recommends the goals for exercise in the senior population should be to maintain functional capacity for independent living, reduce risk factors for heart disease, retard the progression of chronic disease, promote psychological well-being, and provide opportunities for social interaction.

Although many of the general principles of exercise prescription are the same for individuals of all ages, special care must be given when setting up a fitness program for older individuals. Exercise programs for older individuals should be tailored to combine endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility to promote the quality of their life. The general exercise prescription guidelines for the senior population are developed from the ACSM guidelines (1995).

Mode

The mode of exercise for the older population should be activities with low-impact on their joints. The activities include walking, stationary cycling, water exercise, swimming, or machine-based stair climbing. The activity needs to be accessible, convenient, and enjoyable to the participant.

Duration

The duration of an exercise program should start with short periods and gradually progress in length. During the initial stage, it may be difficult for some old adults with physiologic limitations to perform exercise for 20 minutes. It will be possible for them to perform exercise in shorter sessions of five to 10 minutes repeated several times throughout the day. In addition to the duration of the exercise program itself, elderly people need additional warm-up and cool down time, perhaps as much as 10 minutes or more.

Intensity

The intensity of the exercise program must start out low since elderly people are more prone to exercise-related injuries. Because low intensity exercise is associated with a lower risk for injury, it should be encouraged in the elderly population. Exercise intensity should be sufficient to overload the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and musculoskeletal systems without overstraining them. The recommended intensity by the ACSM for older adults is 50 to 70% of heart rate reserve (1995). The intensity level of exercise should be regularly monitored by heart rate, or rating of perceived exertion (Borg, 1982).

Frequency

Generally, the frequency of exercise programs recommended is three to five days per week (ACSM, 1995). Emphasis on more frequent activity (five to seven days per week) may be made with seniors if they exercise very low intensity with short duration. This recommended increase in frequency has physiological relevance for the maintenance of endurance capacity as well as flexibility. In addition, the greater frequency may enhance compliance and lead to a greater probability of the subject assimilating physical activity in the daily routine.

Progression

Progression should be conservative and gradual for older individuals. The initial stage, usually four to six weeks, should include low intensity exercise to permit adaptation with minimal risk for injury. Elderly subjects may need a longer period of adjustment before exercising at higher intensity levels. It is better to increase exercise duration initially rather than intensity in order to avoid injury and ensure safety. Progression in an exercise program should be based on how well the individual is responding to the current regimen, the medical and health limitations of the individual, and individual goals. Exercise programs should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting the needs of the participant.

References

American College of Sports Medicine. (1991). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (4th ed). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

 

American College of Sports Medicine. (1995). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (5th ed). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

 

Blair, S. (1993). Physical activity, physical fitness, and health. Res Quart Exerc Sport 64: 365-376.

Borg, G. (1982). Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 14, 377-381.

Hyhn, R. (1993). Cardiac rehabilitation in the cost containment environment. Cardiopul Phs Ther J 4: 4-8.

Nakamura E., Moritani T., & Kanetake, A. (1989). Biological age versus physical fitness age, Eur J Appl Physiol 58: 778-785.

Poehlman, E., McAuliffe, T., Van Houten, D., & Danforth, E. (1991). Influence of age and endurance training on metabolic rate and hormones in healthy men, Am J Physiol 159: 66-72.

U.S. Bureau of Census. (1994). Statistical Abstract of United States

Alabama High School Soccer Undergoes Eligibility Rule Changes

Changes in the penalties for Alabama High School soccer players receiving misconducts have had very little effect on the numbers and types of cards issued during the 1997 and 1998 Alabama high school soccer seasons (note: high soccer is a spring sport in Alabama). Although ineligibility penalties for yellow cards were eliminated, there was a slight increase in the number of yellow cards issued per game in 1997, but the number of yellow cards issued per game in 1998 was almost equivalent to 1996. At the same time, revised red card (includes red/yellow cards) penalties seemed to have very little effect on the number of. red cards (ejections) issued per game.

During the 1996 spring season and for several years prior, penalties for Alabama high school soccer players receiving misconducts were as follows: the first accumulation of three yellow cards – ineligible for the next game; the second accumulation of three yellow cards – ineligible for the next two games; the third accumulation of three yellow cards – ineligible for the remainder of the season; the first red card – ineligible for the next game; the second red card – ineligible for the next two games; and the third red card – ineligible for the remainder of the season.

For the 1997 and 1998 seasons, soccer eligibility rules regarding a misconduct were changed to conform to the rules in effect for other high school sports. All penalties for yellow cards were eliminated. The red card (or red/yellow) penalties are as follows: a player’s first red card – the principal at the player’s school receives a warning from the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA); a second red card – the player is ineligible for the next game; and a third red card – the player is ineligible for the remainder of the season.

Prior to 1997, misconduct card totals had to be kept by each team, and the coach was responsible for enforcing the penalty. With the new rules, the referee who gives the ejection must submit a report to the AHSAA, and the AHSAA is responsible for informing the school and seeing that the penalty is enforced.

In 1996, 649 game reports were sent by the head referee in each contest to this writer. In these 649 games, there were 545 yellow cards and 104 red cards given out. This resulted in an average of .84 yellow cards and .16 red cards per game.

In 1997, 513 game reports were submitted. In these 513 games, there were 486 yellow cards and 71 red cards awarded, resulting in an average of .95 yellow cards and .14 red cards for game.

In 1998, 747 game reports were submitted. In these 747 games, there were 612 yellow cards and 113 red cards. This resulted in an average of .82 yellow cards and .15 red cards for game.

As reported above, except for a slight increase in the number of yellow cards given in 1997, the change in the penalties given to players who receive red and yellow cards has had little effect on the average number of red and yellow cards given per game. Although there has been little change in the average number of cards given, there has been considerable criticism about the revised penalties from Alabama referees about the penalty changes.

In giving their opinion about the revised changes to the penalties for players receiving yellow and red cards, the following are some of the statements that were expressed:

1 “The penalty for yellow cards was too harsh under the old system, so I often refrained from giving out a yellow card.”

2 “Giving out a red card means that I will have to take the time to submit a report that will be sent to the school principal, who may then penalize the whole team. It makes me now reconsider if a red card is really necessary.”

3 “Recently, the overtime period for a tie game was changed from two ten-minute regular time and two five-minute sudden victory overtime periods to two ten-minute sudden victory overtime periods. This decrease in game time could have had an effect on the number of cards awarded per game.”

4 “If officials would have turned in game reports for all the games played, the results might have been different.”

5 “The changes were good, because schools do a good job in taking action against players who are ejected from games”

What are your feelings concerning player eligibility penalties for red and/ or yellow cards? Please let this writer know. E-mail: Joeman@USSA-SPORT.USSA.edu

Editor’s Comments: Dr. Joe Manjone is the Alabama State High School Association Soccer rules interpreter. He is also the region V soccer officials’ representative for the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials’ Association. He is a National High School soccer clinician, and has been officiating high school soccer since 1959.