National Youth Games Start Today

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National Youth Games make its Rim country debut today as part of the Town-sponsored Summer Recreation Program.

Formerly known as the Goodwill Games, the National Youth contests are a free athletic participation program for boys and girls ages 8 to 13. In the competition, youths may opt to participate in one or all of four sporting events including basketball, soccer, swimming and track and field.

When the competition sported the moniker Goodwill Games, they were conducted each summer as part of the local youth recreation program. However, the Goodwill Games didn't feature a soccer event. Also, the games were not held last year because of the ongoing construction in the RCMS gymnasium.

Town Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider said her department was readying itself for the Goodwill edition when NYG officials called her and said the competition had undergone a name change.

The new competition

The NYG events began this morning at Rim Country Middle School under the direction of youth recreation leaders Chuck Hardt and Bruce Haught.

The swimming portion of the event will be held this afternoon at Taylor Pool where lifeguards will oversee the proceedings. For the games, the participants are grouped into three different age/sex groups (8-9, 10-11 and 12-13 boys and girls).

The competition opens with the basketball phase in which entrants have 60 seconds to score as many points as possible from seven different spots on the court.

Participants may shoot in any order and must retrieve their own rebounds.

In soccer, the youngsters test their rapid-fire shoot and dribbling skills for the fastest time possible.

Track events

The track and field competition challenges the participants to test their running, jumping and throwing abilities in three events:

In the mini-sprint, competitors run a 50-meter dash in the fastest time possible.

The second of the track and field events, the power jump, measures the participant's standing long jump abilities.

In the final track event, the extreme discus, entrants have three attempts to throw a flying disc as far as possible.

Swim competition

Youngsters who enter the swimming portion of the games will be asked to swim a 25-yard sprint as fast as possible.

At the conclusion of the games, Town Recreation officials will tally the points of each individual and name the top three finishers in each of the age/sex groups.

Those youngsters will be eligible to advance to the NYG sectional competition to be held in July. The exact date and location of the sectionals has not yet been determined.

The first-place winners from each sectional competition will have their scores regionally and nationally ranked by NYG officials. The top scorer from each of eight regions in the United States will be eligible to advance to the national competition in September in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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