The Aspen Institute's Healthy Sport Index shows that all sports can offer benefits to its participants. At the same time, we recognize that each team within each sport offers a different experience. Some deliver more benefits than others.
The Aspen Institute, in partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery, is conducting a national search to identify exemplary and innovative high school sports teams that model best practices for developing healthy athletes. Apply here throughout all of 2019.
CRITERIA: Our national search is looking for high school sports teams that embrace best practices and innovate to encourage physical activity, minimize injury risk, and support athletes' emotional, social and mental well-being. Maybe it’s a no-cut policy that gets dozens more kids involved, or a coach that strongly promotes multi-sport participation, or a team that embraces positively mentoring youth in unique ways. Demonstrate how your high school sports team builds athletes for life and creates healthy communities. The Aspen Institute wants to identify teams that apply creativity to benefit youth and could serve as a model for others in the sport.
PRIZES: Seventeen winners will be honored (one for each of the Healthy Sport Index sports; there will be combined winners for boys/girls cross country, swimming, and track and field because those sports tend to have one coach who coaches both genders). Winners will receive a $500 award (cash or equivalent gift card); recognition through a story written by the Aspen Institute; elevation as a model for others on the Healthy Sport Index website; and one free registration to a future Project Play Summit. The first sport winner will be announced in Fall 2019. Other winners will be named in late 2019 and throughout 2020.ELIGIBLE SPORTS: Nominations are limited to teams in high school sports that were part of Healthy Sport Index. These eligible sports are based upon national participation data:BaseballBasketball (Boys/Girls)Competitive CheerleadingCross Country (Boys/Girls)FootballLacrosse (Boys/Girls)Soccer (Boys/Girls)SoftballSwimming (Boys/Girls)Tennis (Boys/Girls)Track and Field (Boys/Girls)Volleyball (Girls)WrestlingAspen Institute “Healthy Sport Index Contest” Official Rules
1. No purchase is necessary to enter or to win.
2. Contest Period. The Healthy Sport Index Contest will run from March 1, 2019, and end in 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Once a winning team is selected, no more applications for that sport will be accepted. One winner will be identified for each evaluated sport, resulting in winners for seven boys sports (football, baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, wrestling), seven girls sports (competitive cheerleading, softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis) and three combined boys/girls sports (track and field, cross country, swimming). One sport winner will be announced in Fall 2019. The remaining winners will be recognized in late 2019 and throughout 2020.
3. Nominee Eligibility. Nominees must be a high school athletic team (public or private) in the United States from one of the 20 Healthy Sport Index sports listed above. Nominations are accepted only for a specific team, not an entire high school or athletic department. More than one team at the same high school may be nominated. Each nomination must be made in a new application. Winners may not be affiliated with the Aspen Institute.
4. Nominator Eligibility. Nominators must be at least 18 years of age. Anyone who works in high school sports (coach, athletic director, athletic trainer, high school association, etc.) may make a nomination of a single team from a high school.
5. Submission Process. Beginning on March 1, 2019, nominations may be submitted through an online application. Each question in the application must be answered. By entering, you agree to receive emails from the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program about our work in youth sports. You can opt-out of the receipt of such emails by contacting the Aspen Institute or in any email received from the Aspen Institute.
6. Winner Selection. The Aspen Institute is searching for high school teams that are innovative and models for best practices in physical activity, safety and psychosocial benefits (social, emotional and mental well-being). See the application for areas of interest in each health category that nominators should consider when recommending a team. The person who submits the application will be the initial point of contact during the review process.
Winners will be determined by the Aspen Institute based on the quality of applications; phone interviews with people associated with the nominating team; a site visit to the leading candidate in each sport; and consultation with sports medicine experts at Hospital for Special Surgery and other experts associated with high school sports. The Aspen Institute will make the final determination on winners and has editorial control over the subsequent articles that recognize the winners.
The Aspen Institute wants to hear about all teams that have been creative and solved problems, including those disadvantaged by resources and/or geography. This recognizes the value of highlighting diverse winners and the fact that some teams have much fewer resources to implement best practice for sports health than others.
7. Selection Process. In mid-April 2019, the Aspen Institute will begin selecting 2019 candidates in one sport to be interviewed by phone. Interviews will focus on the nominated school’s application answers and the topics identified in the application that the Aspen Institute believes models best practices for high school sports health.
In order to win, nominated teams must conduct interviews and host a site visit by the Aspen Institute for additional interviews. The site visit will largely be used for reporting purposes to write a story about the winning team, though the Aspen Institute reserves the right to disqualify a team based on a site visit.
One winner will be identified in Fall 2019. Applications will remain open into 2020 to identify future winners in other sports. Similar procedures will occur in identifying future winners.
8. Awards. The winning teams will receive a $500 award (cash or equivalent gift card); recognition in an article written by the Aspen Institute on an Aspen Institute website or another platform; and one free registration to a future Project Play Summit. The Project Play Summit is the nation’s premiere gathering at the intersection of youth, sport and health, and is held annually in the fall.
The financial award will come from the Aspen Institute or a presenting sponsor. Financial awards will be given to the winning team’s athletic director or administrator at the school in charge of athletic finances, under the condition that the award goes to the winning team.
9. Acceptance. Winners may waive their right to receive the award. Prizes and awards are nontransferable. No substitution awards are allowed.
10. Sponsor. The Healthy Sport Index Contest is sponsored by the Aspen Institute in partnership with the Hospital for Special Surgery. The decisions of the Aspen Institute regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the contest shall be final and binding in all respects.
To learn more about the Healthy Sport Index, visit HealthySportIndex.com. For additional questions, contact Jon Solomon, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program Editorial Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.