Interscholastic sports are the most competitive of all sports programs at the high school level and are the only sports sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). Adapted Athletics are interscholastic sports that are just as competitive as football, hockey or any other high school varsity sport. Adapted Athletics emerged and developed to this point over the last 30+ years with considerable input from many sources including coaches, educators, former players and high school league officials. In fact, it was the players themselves that wanted an opportunity to play in a sports program that was “just like the programs offered to their classmates”.
The goal of the program has always been to provide sports experiences for high school athletes with disabilities in the same manner that they have been provided for non-disabled athletes. The organization wanted to provide interscholastic sports opportunities where none previously existed. This has been achieved in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota is the first state where adapted sports have been officially sanctioned by a state high school league. The organization is very proud of the accomplishments that have been made on the behalf of athletes with disabilities!
The following indoor sports are offered by the MSHSL:
- Adapted Soccer (Fall)
- Adapted Floor Hockey (Winter)
- Adapted Softball (Spring)
- Adapted Bowling (Spring)
November 1992: “In an emotional and unanimous vote, the Minnesota State High School League welcomes athletics with disabilities into its family.” – StarTribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.
Value of Adapted Athletics
Interscholastic adapted athletics is definitely an important dimension in the education of the whole person. Students with varying types of disabilities compete co-educationally while representing their school district or combination of school districts. Students who participate on a school team assume an obligation to model exemplary behavior not only for themselves, but also for those whom they represent. Athletic awards earned by an athlete with a disability, represent not only participation by the student in a specified amount of interscholastic play, but also good citizenship which is expected of all athletes. Interscholastic athletics are intended to give student athletes the opportunity to discover and/or improve the following:
- Goal setting
- Pride and self-confidence
- Leadership and teamwork
- Graciousness (win or lose)
- Physical condition/wellness
- Concentration and intensity
- A sense of community and belonging,
- Commitment and dedication
It is the belief of the MAAA Board that the mental and physical attributes that student athletes acquire through participation will help them lead more productive and well-rounded lives.
Within the context of this competitive program, we encourage coaches to play as many players as possible. However, coaches have the discretion to manage their teams in whatever way they see fit. Players gain playing time by demonstrating the ability to play the game at a high level of skill that comes from:
- Participating in all practices
- Developing a strong work ethic that may include work outside of the scheduled practice times
- Displaying an ongoing dedication to the sport
- Being a team player whether playing in the game or supporting their teammates from the sidelines
- Willingness to do whatever they can to enhance the team’s success.