The Anne Arundel Youth Football Association, with its 4,000 young players, will be well represented at a meeting next week to expand Maryland's state youth football tournament.
Rick Peacock, association president, was a force in getting the first state tournament off the ground last fall and helped organize the Feb. 10 meeting at the Baltimore Ravens training facility.
Nineteen leagues are scheduled to be represented at this meeting, the first of its kind in the United States, said Peacock, who also works for USA Football. He added that seven other states are scheduling similar meetings.
One of the many issues that will come up is the Maryland Invitational Youth Football tournament, which started in the fall.
Leagues from Anne Arundel, Carroll and Howard counties, plus the one from the Harford-Baltimore area, and Peacock is hoping that event will grow.
"It was a start," Peacock said. "But we're trying to get it more organized and get more interest among the other leagues that did not participate and did not have a chance."
Other problems need to be overcome, starting with the differing weights and ages of players on each team.
That is one reason the Anne Arundel teams struggled in the state tournament: Their standards left them with teams playing against bigger competition. Establishing consistency on this point would benefit everyone, Peacock said.
"Everybody's willing, and everybody's excited about sitting down and basically putting all egos aside and working on the betterment of football in the state," Peacock said. "Everybody's got to give and take a little bit."
Peacock expects regular meetings and conference calls to happen each year to help the growth of youth football and the state tournament. USA Football is hoping to go nationwide with this concept next year.
The Harundale Youth Sports League will host its fourth annual Invitational Basketball Tournament from Feb. 24 to March 16.
Boys and girls in the following age groups can compete: 5-6 and 7-8 for co-ed teams; 9-and-under, 11-and-under, 13-and-under and 15-and-under.
Each team in the tournament will get a chance to play at least three games, which will be held at the following locations: Corkran Middle School, Glen Burnie High School, Glendale Elementary School, Marley Elementary School and Richard Henry Lee Elementary School.
The deadline to enter is Feb. 18.
For more information, visit www.hyslbasketball.com or call Rudy Brown at 410-969-5816, 410-952-4954 or 410-553-8503.
Also in tournament news, several HYSL county teams fared well in a tournament that Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks held recently.
Coach Anthony Archie's 10-11 boys team won first place in its division, scoring victories in all four of its games. The 12-13 boys team that Rudy Brown coached won its three games.
The Navy Youth Hockey Web site posted information about an annual coaching symposium.
Hosted by the Washington Capitals, it will be held at the Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Va., Feb. 12. For information, call Justin Guiles at 202-266-2231.