Blogs / Features
Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating 100 years of high school sports in ArizonaAug 27, 2012
While researching some of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s bylaws a couple of years ago, AIA associate executive director Chuck Schmidt came across an old journal from an important year for the AIA:
In that journal were the minutes from one of the first meetings the High School Athletic League of Salt River, which helped form the AIA, held. In 2013, the AIA will turn 100.
To celebrate the association’s centennial, aia365.com will unveil 100 of the greatest figures and events that helped shape the first 100 years of the AIA. Counting down to the No. 1 event or figure isn’t the objective of this list.
Celebrating Arizona’s high school sports history during this school year and the 2013-14 school year is the goal.
We’ll kick off our 100 list by going back to the beginning, with the help of the journal Schmidt found in a AIA storage unit, likely the earliest document the AIA has of its long history.
No. 1 in top-100 AIA high school moments/figures: The formation of the AIA
Two separate associations, the Valley High School Athletic Association and High School Athletic League of Salt River, eventually joined forces to form the AIA.
The old journal gives some background information on both leagues’ meetings and bylaws. Pasted to the journal are typewritten sheets with likely the AIA’s first bylaws.
“The biggest thing that struck me (about the journal) is that they (state association’s founding members) were dealing with the same things then that we are now,” Schmidt said.
One of those big issues surrounded the non-school participation rule.
According to the journal, two former Tempe High players were ruled ineligible because they were also professional baseball players. The charter members of the High School Athletic League of Salt River Valley were a Mr. Jones from Phoenix Union High School, Mr. Johnson from Mesa High, the chairman of the group, Mr. Scudder from Glendale High and Mr. Jennings from Tempe High.
Only the initials of the founding members’ first names appear in the journal. The group held one of its first meetings on Dec. 13, 1913 at the YMCA building in Phoenix.
The meeting started at 9:30 a.m.
Unlike today, high school athletes participating in Arizona high school sports in the early 1900s could play up until their 21st birthday. The AIA membership fee for schools back then was $1.
Schools now pay $198.50 per varsity sport annually to remain an active member of the AIA.
A lot obviously has changed since the AIA was first formed, and a lot of events and people helped shape the first 100 years of the AIA. If you want to recommend an event or person we should add to our list, please go to our Facebook page or send me an e-mail.