Sports News

8th place finish for Rochester in the opener for girls golf

Rochester girls golf opened the season in the 15-team field at the Homestead Invitational.

The Zebras compiled a team score of 354 to finish eighth.

Rochester’s Olivia Bailey finished in 4th place with a 71.  Teammate Ava Thomas was second on the team with an 86 followed by Payton Moore with an 89.  Lexi Haughs carded a 108.

Homestead won the event with a low score of 301.  Penn and Carroll tied for second with a 315.

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HS sports officially underway

Fall sports practices and the girls golf regular-season officially got underway on Monday for member schools of the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

This week, football teams will conduct three days of non-contact practice with full contact permitted beginning Thursday, August 3.

Girls golf was able to schedule competition on Monday. The first contests for boys tennis, unified flag football, cross country, soccer and girls volleyball are set for Saturday, August 12.

Opening night of the high school football season is Friday, Aug 18. 

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New examples of false starts adopted in high school track and field rules

In an effort to more clearly define false starts in high school track and field events, two new starting violations have been adopted for the 2024 season.

In Rule 5-7-4c, the previous language which required participants to remain motionless after assuming the set position prior to the starting device being fired, has been replaced with the following:

“If a runner leaves their mark with a hand or foot after the ‘set’ command but before the starting device is fired.”

In addition, a new violation in (d) calls for a violation “if a runner leaves their mark with a forward motion without the starting device being fired.”

Further, a new NOTE in Rule 5-7-4 states that “extraneous motion before the device is fired does not necessarily require a false start to be charged unless the criteria in the rule are met. If the starter thinks the movement creates a situation of unfairness to any of the competitors, the starter may cancel the start with the command ‘stand up,’ or if the device has been fired, recall the race as an unsteady or unfair start and redo the starting procedure.” This NOTE was also added to Rule 8 regarding cross country.

“The rules committee felt that these changes offer a clearer definition of a false start and will help add consistency in how false starts are officiated,” said Julie Cochran, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Track and Field Rules Committee.

This change to rules relating to false starts was one of 11 rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 12-14 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

A significant change was approved by the committee in Rule 6 regarding field events. In the discus, shot put and javelin, athletes will be permitted to apply tape to their fingers as long as the fingers are not taped together, and all fingers can move independently. The specific language approved by the committee is as follows:

“Tape may be used on the hand and fingers provided that no two fingers are taped together. The tape may be continuous and connect to the wrist, but all fingers must be able to move independently. A wrist wrap used in lieu of tape is acceptable and is not considered an artificial aid.”

In other changes to field events, further definition related to breaking ties was added to Rule 6-3-2b. To address the situation when two or more tied competitors withdraw from the competition/jump-off at the same time, the committee added the following language to determine first place:

Rule 6-3-2b(4)(b) states that “if all competitors eligible for a jump-off withdraw from the competition before the jump-off begins or at a height change, those competitors shall tie for first place, and any team points shall be added together and divided equally among the tying competitors.”

In addition, a NOTE was added to the rule stating that an athlete who withdraws from a jump-off concedes the higher place, but the withdrawal does not negate the athlete’s performance in that event up to the point of withdrawal. In addition, withdrawing from a jump-off is not unsporting conduct.

Another field event change was approved for Rule 6-2-2, stating that in the high jump and pole vault, one minute shall be allowed for the first trial of a competitor first entering the competition. The committee noted this additional language clarifies how the rule is to be interpreted and adds support to the official’s decisions when a competitor enters the vertical jumps after the event has started.

In other changes to Rule 5-Running Events, some of the specific language regarding track markings in Rule 5 was deleted and replaced with the following general statement: “Staggered markings are dependent on the geometry of each individual track.” In addition, a NOTE was added to the rule stating that a competent surveyor should determine the lane staggers. The same language was added to Section 9 regarding indoor track and field.

In other Rule 5 changes, a clarification was provided to the section on hurdling infractions. It is an infraction if a competitor knocks down or displaces any hurdle by hand. The addition of displacement of any hurdle was added to give guidance to officials when ruling on infractions.

In Rule 4 regarding “Competitors and Competition,” state associations will be permitted to allow participants in a high school track and field meet to compete in more than four events, effective with the 2024 season.

Rule 4-2-1 stating that a competitor shall not compete in more than four events, including relays, remains intact; however, a NOTE was added to the rule for flexibility for state associations as follows: “State associations may adopt different participation limitations, not to exceed six events.”

Cochran said the addition of this state association adoption adds flexibility for state associations. Ultimately each state will determine the number and type of events best suited for its state and student-athletes – not to exceed six total events.  

Other rules revisions approved by the Track and Field Rules Committee include the following:

  •          Rules 8-1, 8-5: Clarifies the cross country course layout and reorganizes the rule.
  •          Rule 9-6-1: New rule offers guidance on the relay exchange zone for indoor track and field.
  •          Rule 3-8-1: With technology advancements, changed the requirement for two appointed officials when FAT timing is used to one appointed timing official.  

A complete listing of the track and field rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Track & Field.”

According to the 2021-22 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, track and field is the second-most popular sport for boys with 569,262 participants in 17,070 high schools nationwide, and it is No. 1 for girls with 456,697 participants in 17,028 schools.

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Changes in pitching delivery requirements approved in high school softball

Beginning next year, pitchers in high school softball will be allowed to disengage both feet from the playing surface if the pivot foot is not replanted prior to the delivery of the pitch. Previously, the pivot foot was required to remain in contact with the ground.

This modification to Rule 6-1-2c of the NFHS Softball Rules Book headlined a set of seven rules changes recommended by the NFHS Softball Rules Committee at the committee’s June 11-13 meeting at the Conrad Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“When examining the survey responses, the NFHS Softball Rules Committee recognized that a majority of the membership were in favor of this change,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. “An additional topic the committee discussed was whether a pitcher gains an advantage by having their pivot foot airborne vs. having it remain in contact with the ground. Our rules have traditionally allowed for flexibility to accommodate the differing skill levels of high school athletes. This change allows for exploration of different styles of pitching during student-athletes’ developmental stages.”

In another change, Rule 1-8-6 now permits electronic information to be transmitted to the dugout from anywhere outside of live ball area. This reflects current technology and still requires that electronic devices are used in the dugout but no longer stipulates where the video is recorded or how it is transmitted.

Beginning January 1, 2027, softball uniforms may display only the player’s name, school name or nickname, school mascot and/or school logo as part of Rule 3-2-3. An additional uniform change for the 2024 season was approved in Rule 3-2-5, which more clearly defines what can be worn on the head to be consistent with other NFHS sports.

Changes to Rule 3-2-7 clarify where wristbands with a playbook/playcard attached can be worn. The equipment is only permitted to be worn on a player’s wrist or arm, and pitchers must wear it on their non-pitching arm, prohibiting wristbands from being worn on the belt.

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee further clarified the list of approved and non-approved substances to be used as drying agents for the pitcher in Rule 6-2-2. The rule specifies that dirt is not considered a foreign substance and does not have to be wiped from the hand prior to contacting the ball. Acceptable use of drying agents under the supervision and control of the umpire includes powdered rosin or any comparable drying agent listed on USA Softball’s certified equipment website.

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, fast-pitch softball is the fifth-most popular sport for girls with 362,038 participants in 15,877 high schools nationwide. The survey also indicated an additional 6,602 participants in slow-pitch softball.

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Electronic communication devices from dugout to catchers to be permitted in HS baseball

The use of a one-way communication device between a coach in the dugout and a team’s catcher for the purposes of calling pitches will be permitted in high school baseball beginning in 2024.

This change to Rules 1-6-2 and 3-2-5 was one of five rules revisions approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new rules prohibit coaches from communicating with any other player besides the catcher on defense and with any player while batting. The coach must also be in the dugout when using the communication device.

“This change is consistent with the growth of the game and is indicative of a measured and responsible approach to enable technology into our level of competition,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS Director of Sports and Educational Services and liaison to the Baseball Rules Committee. “The committee has made these changes to maintain the balance between offense and defense; increase the pace of play; and will responsibly manage technology so there is no advantaged gained by schools that have more available resources than some of their contemporaries. Creating a level playing field is paramount to education-based athletics.”

Game management by umpires was addressed with a change to Rule 10-2-3h. The edit removes spectators’ behavior from the umpire-in-chief’s jurisdiction when deciding to forfeit a contest. Only infractions by players, coaches or team/bench personnel are under the umpire’s jurisdiction. The committee agreed that poor behavior by spectators should be handled by game administration.

“This change is a complementary rule to support schools’ game management role in addressing unacceptable behavior and will allow the umpire to focus on the action and players on the field,” Hopkins said.

Rule 1-6-1 was added and designates a wristband with defensive shifts, pitching choices or game directions as non-electronic equipment and must be a single, solid color and worn on the forearm. Pitchers’ cards must not be white, gray or a distracting color and worn on their non-pitching arm.

A complete listing of the baseball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Baseball.”

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DNR accepting applications for reserved hunts

Applications for reserved hunts are open and hunters can apply online until August 6.

According to a release from the DNR, the only way to apply for the hunts listed below is online. There are also no late entries accepted and applicants must have a valid hunting license for the hunt they are applying for. 

Hunters can apply for a variety of reserved hunts online at the DNR Reserved Hunt Information webpage.

The Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) program has also now moved to reserved hunts and is no longer available through the self-service sign-in system.

Dale Hummel remembered for service in education, athletics and more

Dale Hummel touched many through his work in athletics over the years.

Coach Hummel, 74, of Rochester, passed away on July 1, at his son’s home.

In 1948, Hummel was born in Mishawaka to Jack E. and Sally L. Shephard Hummel.

Growing up he shared his childhood with a brother, Danny.  In 1966, Dale graduated from Penn High School.  He continued on to pursue his life dream of becoming a coach and teacher at Ball State University.  Dale graduated in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education.  Continuing on, he earned his master's degree from Indiana University- Purdue University in Indianapolis.  

In Osceola, Dale and Susan A. Liggett were married on September 2, 1967. They have shared 56 years of life’s adventures. They had three sons, Derek, Damon and Dustin. 

Hummel was an educator and loved to coach and teach his students the finer points of sports and life. He embarked on his career in Middlebury at Northridge High School. While there he started the Raider’s wrestling program.   Hummel moved to Shelbyville and continued as the wrestling coach of the Golden Bears at Shelbyville High School along with football.

From 1975 through 1989, Coach Hummel started both the football and tennis programs for the Culver Cavaliers. He was also served the Cavs as their head wrestling coach and the baseball coach.

The Hummel family made Fulton County their home in 1989. Continuing to teach and coach Rochester High School, he was RHS head wrestling coach.  Coach Hummel kept the stats for the Zebra High School football team and was the high school throwing coach with discus and shot put. 

While in the Culver community, for nearly 15 years,  Hummel served as a Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy, worked as an emergency medical technician and also assisted with the water patrol on Lake Maxinkuckee.  In about 2000, being very tech savvy, Dale established and opened That Computer Place and continued to assist the Rochester community for 23 years with their technical needs for computers, software and hardware.

A celebration of the life of Coach Dale M. Hummel will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 8,  in the Good Family Funeral, 1200 West 18th St., Rochester. Rev. Larry J. Pyeatt will officiate.

Friends may visit with the family from 10:00 - 1:00 on Saturday in the funeral home.  

Interment will follow in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. 

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Indiana State Fair unveils full court press for 2023 BASKETBALL theme programming

The Indiana State Fair today announced 18 days full of basketball inspired entertainment plans in support of its 2023 theme of BASKETBALL, in partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

The 2023 theme was announced last winter on the basketball court at Governor Holcomb’s residence along with representatives for the Indiana State Fair, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and more. At that time it was also revealed that the theme will be activated through multiple interactive experiences and exhibits paying homage to Indiana’s rich basketball legacy.

Today, the Indiana State Fair proudly unveiled plans for custom experiences guests can expect when they arrive at the 166th Indiana State Fair, including: 

  • HOOPFEST Outdoor Amusement Park
    • Including full size regulation court with tournaments, kids camps, coaches chats, etc
  • Pacers Sports & Entertainment Immersive Exhibit
  • Land of Legends: Indiana’s Basketball Legacy, in partnership with Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Space Ham: An Augmented Reality Experience
  • 1951 Chevy, Gene Hackman's car from movie HOOSIERS on display
  • 18 Basketball Stories curated for 18 days of the Indiana State Fair
    • Celebrating the people, the places and the purpose of the Game!
  • The Evolution of the Game Exhibit
  • The 6th Man Exhibit: Agriculture & Basketball
  • Hoosier Hardwood Photo Project: A Journey to Indiana’s Historical High School Gyms
  • From Trees to Tip-Off Attraction: Indiana Hardwoods & the Game
  • Chuck Taylor and Indiana Basketball Exhibit with the Indiana Historical Society
  • Cultural art installations celebrations basketball 
    • Including sneaker & custom Backboard Art installation
  • and much more; see all basketball themed activations announced today HERE

“Indiana is truly the state that grew the game, and we are excited to celebrate our unmatched basketball history with Hoosiers this summer at our beloved State Fair,” said Rick Fuson, Pacers Sports & Entertainment Chief Executive Officer.

The Indiana State Fair is rooted in celebrating all things Indiana Agriculture, including the history of why the game of basketball grew here in Indiana. The game was affordable, and the playing season was based around the farmers’ planting and harvest season in the late 1800s. After each harvest, farm kids could play basketball, and then when the season ended in March, they could go back to the fields for planting.

Basketball also has a rich history at the Fairgrounds where the iconic Indiana Farmers Coliseum has played host to high school championships, the ABA Pacers, All-Star Games and more. Currently, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum is home of the Horizon League Basketball Championships and IUPUI Men’s Basketball.  

The Indiana State Fairgrounds first opened in 1892 – the same year basketball was introduced in Indiana – two great Hoosier traditions that have stood the test of time.  

To view all theme related Basketball experiences please visit:

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