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By EVAA President 09/27/2022, 10:00pm CDT

2022 Lightning Sportsmanship Award Recipients

By EVAA Baseball 08/08/2022, 3:45pm CDT

Congratulations to the award recipients!

Too Young for Sports?

By KM 02/05/2020, 9:45am CST

What age is the best to start kids in sports

Helping Your Child Choose a Sport

Sports can be a fun way for your child to get physical activity and develop skills. Around age 6 or 7, kids start to have the kinds of physical and mental traits they need to play organized sports. Being part of a sports program can give your child many benefits for learning and growing. It can help with:

  • Getting regular physical activity

  • Developing motor skills

  • Having fun

  • Building self-confidence

  • Developing social skills

  • Learning about teamwork and sportsmanship

  • Working with a variety of people

  • Challenging themselves

  • Learning the discipline of practice

  • Learning how to listen to directions and follow rules

Is your child ready for sports?

Before you look into a sports program, make sure your child is ready. A child’s readiness can depend on:

  • Physical maturity. Different sports vary in their demand for certain kinds of physical traits. Does your child have the strength, height, flexibility, endurance, or other traits needed to start a particular sport? Talk with the coach to find out what traits are needed.

  • Emotional maturity. Playing a sport requires a certain amount of mental maturity. Training, teamwork, pressure, physical and mental stress, control, and being in competition with others with a good attitude – these all demand emotional readiness.

  • A doctor’s OK. A chronic health condition or a disability can make sports a challenge, or even a risk. Make sure to get the doctor’s OK before your child starts a sports program.

Choosing the right sport

Finding a sport that will fit your child depends on many factors. They include:

  • Age.  Kids ages 6 to 9 have basic motor skills, but have fewer complex motor skills. They may be new to ideas such as teamwork, and not as good at following directions. Older kids have more developed motor skills. And they can handle things such as strategy, competition, and pressure. Certain sports can be easily adapted for younger and older players.

  • Personal interest. Is your child drawn to a particular sport? Does he or she like to watch local games or follow the sport on TV? Curiosity and enthusiasm are good motivators.

  • Temperament. Consider how social your child is. Some kids are drawn to team sports such as football, soccer, or baseball. Others prefer to focus on individual goals. These kids might prefer swimming, tennis, or running.

  • Physical traits. Is your child tall? Is she more flexible? Does he have strength? Different body types can be more suited to different sports. But keep in mind that this doesn’t mean he or she won’t enjoy a sport that doesn’t seem to fit their physique.

  • Your child’s schedule. Certain sports have intense schedules for practices and games or meets. Will your child be able to go to all of these? Will they have problems juggling homework and time with friends and family?

  • Your family’s schedule. Think about how practices and games will affect day-to-day life. How will they affect your family’s plans? Many sports have games on the weekends. Will this be a problem for your family’s schedule? Can you adjust family time as needed?

  • Cost. The cost of equipment, uniforms, fees, and other expenses can be high for some sports. Can your family afford them?

  • Who’s in charge. Do you and your child like the coach? Does his or her experience and attitude match your values?

  • Your readiness to put in time and assistance. This may include helping your child keep schedules, providing transportation, volunteering, and bringing team snacks.

Making sure a sport is a good fit

Ask your child some questions to find out how he or she feels about the sport, such as:

  • Did you have fun playing today?

  • What did you learn in practice?

  • What was your favorite part of the game? Your least favorite part?

  • What do you like most about your coach or teammates?

  • What do you like least about your coach or teammates?

  • What’s the best thing about being on the team? Your least favorite thing?

Don’t be surprised if your child wants to switch sports a few times. It can take a few tries for a child to find out what kinds of things they enjoy and are good at. But even if a sport isn’t a good fit, it can still give a good learning experience.


Cheering Section!

By KM 01/21/2020, 3:30pm CST

How Can We Best Cheer For Our Youth In EVAA Sports

Breaking Ground

By KM 01/11/2020, 10:15am CST

EVAA has partnered with Hope Fieldhouse

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (January 7, 2020) — Eastview Athletic Association (EVAA announced today that they are partnering with Hope Fieldhouse, the  Rosemount-based nonprofit with the mission of making sure everyone has a place to play. Hope Fieldhouse has completed the capital campaign to build a facility to solve the gym shortage crisis in our area and construction has begun and is set to open in the fall of2020.
“We immediately recognized the value of the facility to our communities,” said EVAA Basketball Board President Ben Goodman. “This is a great opportunity to support and grow our neighboring communities.” The facility will have four hardwood basketball courts as well as a walking track and fitness center that will be open to members of the community.

EVAA will use the fieldhouse mainly for basketball and soccer and has plans to host three basketball tournaments yearly at Hope Fieldhouse. It will also have access to the track, which can be used by all the EVAA sport programs as well as a state-of-the art fitness center that will be offered to EVAA families at a discounted rate.

“Having access to this facility will allow our athletes and their parents a resource that is much closer to their homes,” said EVAA President Marc Dannecker. “Like most communities, Apple Valley is limited in their available courts and fields, and our soccer and basketball programs are growing.”

In addition to EVAA, Hope Fieldhouse will also be home to the Dakota United Hawks adaptive programs. “The partnership with EVAA has been easy and natural from the start. We look forward to partnering with them for many years to come to ensure our youth athletes have the opportunities they deserve” said Dan Corley, Hope Fieldhouse Executive Director.

About EVAA
EVAA’s mission is to deliver a diverse range of well-managed sports programs to families living within the Eastview High School enrollment boundaries, as well as the city of Apple Valley. EVAA strives to provide a quality athletic experience to kids of all ages and capabilities with a focus on sportsmanship. It seeks continuous improvements in developing, promoting and administering youth sports opportunities and is proud to be one of the premier youth sports organizations in the Twin Cities. The heart and soul of EVAA are the people who volunteer their time, energy and talents.

For more information, please visit, or follow @EVAAsports.

To learn more about EVAA and how to get involved with the organization, contact: Marc Dannecker at

Girl holding soccer ball in front of yellow background

Benefits of Sports for Girls

By KM 12/14/2019, 6:30am CST

Studies have found that female executives are more likely to have played sports than those in non-leadership roles. Among female executives in fortune 500 companies 80% played sports at some point in their lives and 95% of the chief executes played sports.

Starting the Conversation

By KM 01/14/2016, 2:45pm CST

Join Us!

By KD 10/31/2013, 11:00am CDT

Make a Difference in our Community

Helmetology 101

By KD 08/02/2013, 7:30pm CDT

What to look for when fitting a helmet

As player safety and concussions take the lead in talks around the juice-box cooler, helmets and their proper fit should follow right behind.

New helmet technology is constantly evolving, but the battle against concussions doesn’t have to be waged with brand new gear every year. Keeping hardware, straps, and padding in good condition is a crucial first step, as is making sure a helmet fits the way it should.

When it comes to the shock absorbing padding, soft foam inserts have been around for a long time. Noticeably, though, those pads don’t stay so squishy throughout the years.

One of the easiest ways to keep a helmet in good condition, according to LSU equipment manager Greg Stringfellow, is to clean the foam padding occasionally, either at the end of a season or whenever the helmet will be left unused for an extended length of time. Antibacterial washes can extend the life of a helmet’s padding at least a season, he points out. The sweat that accumulates on the foam padding can cause corrosion and cracking, rendering the padding hard and ineffective.

In many of today’s modern helmets, manufacturers are taking a page out of cycling’s book when it comes to new padding technology. Riddell, Easton, and other companies are now choosing to use harder[,] Expanded Polypropylene Plastic (EPP) foam, which is one step closer to the rigid foam used in bike helmets.

This EPP foam has higher impact absorption, is lighter in weight, and is generally paired with softer foam to cushion the head. It also doesn’t break down with sweat, leaving only the smaller cushioned parts of the helmet to be replaced. In addition to keeping a helmet’s padding in good shape, checking the condition of a helmet’s working parts, like the chin straps and other snaps, is vital.

Another potential option is to have a helmet reconditioned by a local dealer or by sending it to the manufacturer. While the costs of shipping and reconditioning may add up, its generally cheaper than buying a new helmet. However, a 2010New York Times exposé found that few, if any, helmets are re-tested after reconditioning, so the process doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a helmet is returned in a safe, usable condition. Likewise, a separate New York Times analysisfrom last year found that, due to performance concerns, any helmet more than 10 years old should be completely avoided. And keep in mind that even in perfect condition, a helmet is ineffective if it does not fit correctly.

A rule of thumb for all helmets is to make sure the helmet fits firmly but comfortably. Stringfellow looks for the padding to pull the skin on a player’s forehead when he tugs the helmet slightly.

It is also important to start with a properly sized helmet, and then make the necessary adjustments from there.

A proper mouth guard is the last key to helmet fitting and concussion prevention. Not only do mouth guards protect an athlete’s teeth and mouth, the force absorbed by the rubber can decrease the impact of a blow to the chin enough to minimize and even prevent concussions.


  • Take it step-by-step, start with sizing.
  • A helmet’s front pad should sit approximately one inch above the eyebrow. Then, the chinstrap should be adjusted to a snug fit.
  • Once the helmet is in its correct position, the air cushions can be inflated to evenly distribute pressure to all points of contact. 

Stringfellow’s one note of caution for parents of young athletes—don’t get caught up in the newest helmet technology too soon. He said the newer helmets have gotten heavier with added padding and can be too heavy for kids with weaker necks. If a child is continually dipping their head due to the weight of a heavy helmet, it can lead to serious spinal injuries and more concussions.


  • There are no air cushions so custom fitting can be more difficult. Adjust sizing screws or knobs until the helmet is snug. Don’t let the helmet get too tight. A white spot on the forehead seconds after the helmet is removed shows it has been set too small.
  • Recheck the initial fitting. Make sure that the helmet will stay in place even after a player’s sweat has caused the helmet to be slippery.
  • Purchase a facemask that corresponds to the helmet model. The chin cup should fit properly and the mask should not interfere or change the shell’s fit.
  • Use the “two finger rule,” making sure only two fingers can fit between the chinstrap and the bottom of a player’s chin. University of  Michigan hockey equipment manager, Ian Hume, likes to limit the slack to just one finger.

Hume and University of Minnesota hockey equipment manager Lee Greseth warn against using a hockey helmet too long because of the hardening of the foam. “Nobody seems to be able to tell you when that foam begins to lose its effectiveness in protecting the player,” Hume notes. He only allows his players to wear a helmet for one year, and then it becomes their practice helmet. Greseth doesn’t let his players or his children use a helmet for more than two years.


  • Keep a baseball helmet snug, not only for blows to the head, but also to help maintain concentration in the batter’s box.
  • Without a chinstrap, it’s important that the helmet stay on while a player is running. Proper fitting ensures higher safety while running the bases and in the possibility of a collision.
  • Never cut out or downsize padding to make a helmet fit longer to accommodate a growing head.

“When you get a helmet that’s too big, the padding is not fitting in the places on your head where it’s meant to protect.” Stringfellow explains. “It affects performance and can be bothersome to kids and affect their vision.” One of the biggest issues he sees in youth camps [is] players cutting out or downsizing padding to make a helmet fit longer. Not only does that defect the warranty, but puts a player at serious risk of injury.


  • It’s always important to make sure you’re buying an approved helmet, a NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approval is important in making sure the helmet will do its job.
  • Double-check a helmet’s sizing with the manufacturer’s charts.
  • Similar to football, the location where a lacrosse helmet fits in relation to a player’s eyes is important. A general rule is to have the forehead pad rest just a finger’s width above the eyebrow. This ensures both that the forehead is protected and that the player can maintain a good field of vision.
  • Adjusting the helmet to a snug fit is different from brand to brand. So, it’s important to be familiar with each helmet brand’s adjustment mechanisms to ensure a good fit.
  • Finally, tighten the chinstrap so that there is no slack and check for excess wiggle room.

U.S. Lacrosse guidelines note that screws and t-nuts on a helmet should be replaced each year. And if the facemask is ever bent, or no longer fits cleanly on the helmet, it should be replaced immediately. Also, plan a child’s haircut accordingly; a summer trim can affect a helmet’s fit.

08/10/2012, 3:35PM CDT


Original Article: 

Between taking sports serious and personal


Jim Thompson worked decades ago in Minnesota as a teacher’s aide for kids with behavioral problems and then as a youth baseball and basketball coach while finishing his MBA at Stanford. From those “disconnected experiences,” as he calls them, the Positive Coaching Alliance was born. Founded in 1998 by Thompson, who is also the CEO, the organization has many missions. Among them is tackling this difficult question: When dealing with youth athletes, how can coaches ensure a healthy balance between fun and competition? 

For Thompson, that meant creating a new set of words to describe the desired results. “We felt at the beginning that ‘sportsmanship’ is a weak term. It’s a consolation prize. If you can’t win, maybe you can be a good sport,” Thompson says. Instead, his organization came up with a different phrase—“honoring the game”—to emphasize the importance of fair play. “We feel that promoting [the term] ‘honoring the game’ is part of what it means to be an outstanding coach or athlete.”? To that end, the PCA emphasizes, via workshops and programs across the country, the acronym R.O.O.T.S., which stands for respecting Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, and Self. The goal is to reinforce that playing hard, having fun, and winning are not separate experiences, but rather part of one ideal experience.

This ideal experience, though, can start to slip away as young athletes approach the fine line between playing for fun and playing to win—a point emphasized by Dr. Daniel Gould, director of The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University. “As the stakes go up, there is a greater temptation to go to the dark side, Gould explains. “As parents invest more in the sports and the kids invest more time…the more there is pressure to deviate by kids and coaches.”

The antidote to losing proper perspective about youth sports is doing the legwork beforehand, while also having coaches and parents who set good examples, Gould says.

“It helps when coaches are much more intentional and talk about sportsmanship—they actually teach it,” Gould says. “It’s not like they’re saying ‘don’t compete.’ But do it with class and honor. Do the talking on the field.”

What can parents do? Greg Bach, Vice President for Communications at the National Alliance for Youth Sports, offers these tips: “Parents can set a good example for their child by cheering for players on both teams. Plus, after games if parents congratulate the players on the opposing team or go out of their way to acknowledge a youngster who made a great play, their child will adopt those same types of behaviors.”

But regardless of the terms used or techniques recommended, these experts agree on the overall goal: giving youth athletes the best possible experience and teaching the types of positive lessons that carry over to life.

“It’s a way to play that you can be proud of and that everyone can be proud of,” Thompson says.

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EVAA Volunteer Night