An Important Web Address for Parents:
by Bryan Wood
The University Interscholastic League urges schools to share the information in the 2008-2009 Parent Information Manual with all parents. This online manual contains a wealth of information about the UIL organization and the rules and guidelines that it develops each year. The manual discusses such important issues as safety, eligibility, and sportsmanship. One section entitled “Pursuing Victory with Honor” is especially valuable reading. The mission of extracurricular school activities is outlined, and there is a parent code of conduct. I hope that each of you will to the web address above and take a few minutes to look through all the information that is in this manual. I have printed the opening letter from that manual to parents below, and I hope this will encourage you to see what this manual has to offer all parents.
Dear Parent or Guardian:
Welcome to the University Interscholastic League. The UIL is the governing body for 1,319 public high schools and nearly 4,000 middle and junior high schools in Texas. The UIL, which began in 1910, is the largest interschool organization of its kind in the world, offering 23 athletic activities to more than one million student-athletes.
The purpose of the UIL is to organize and properly supervise contests that assist in preparing students to become better citizens. Our aim is to provide healthy, character building, educational activities carried out under the rules providing for good sportsmanship and fair play for all participants.
Contests could not exist without rules. Therefore, UIL rules are adopted and modified by public school administrators who responsibility is the overall educational program of the local school district rather than individual contests. The superintendent insures that contests remain strictly amateur and educational in nature.
The UIL athletic program is based on the premise that athletes are students first and athletic participation is a privilege rather than a right. Students learn teamwork and group responsibility. They also learn to deal with success and to overcome adversity. Research shows that those who participate in extra-curricular activities tend to make better grades and have fewer discipline problems than those who do not participate.
Throughout this publication you’ll notice references to your “student athlete,” rather than your “athlete” because we believe that your children are students first, and athletic participation is a privilege.
Here are some statistics to keep in mind:
- There are over one million high school football players and almost one million basketball players in grades 9-12 nationally. Of those numbers, about 250 make it to the NFL, and about 50 make an NBA team.
- The odds of a high school football player being selected to play for an NFL team are about 6,000 to 1.
- The odds of playing in the NBA are even greater.
- The NCAA is made up of 977 schools classified in three divisions, and less than 25,000 student athletes compete for NCAA titles annually, most of whom are no on athletic scholarships.
With this in mind it is important to focus on your student’s academic career in addition to their success on the playing field or court.
This manual is provided to assist in guiding you and your child through the UIL process. Please take time to read each section and feel free to visit our extensive web site at www.uil.utexas.edu. Of course you may also call any of our staff members for clarification of any questions you may have.
Best of luck this year as we begin the 99th year of UIL competition.
Dr. Charles Breithaupt
UIL Director of Athletics