The mission of the Catholic Youth Apostolate is to help all young people hear and actively respond to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and enthusiastically participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ and His Church.

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Random Acts of Sportsmanship Spotted at CYC Basketball Games

As the CYC Basketball season is winding down, it is proving that sportsmanship is most definitely alive and well here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In the past couple of weeks there were several Random Acts of Sportsmanship (RAS) reported to the CYC Office, and we are sure there were myriad more that went unnoticed.

RAS are acts that we want to encourage all of our participants to display every time they take the field or court. In addition to recognizing winners of games, we feel it is imperative for CYC Sports to search for and recognize acts of sportsmanship at our athletic events. As a Catholic organization we must train our children to display Christian values in all parts of their lives, especially during athletic competition.

In the ten years since the program began, hundreds of Random Acts of Sportsmanship by CYC coaches, players, officials, and fans have been witnessed and acknowledged.

Here’s just one great example of a Random Act of Sportsmanship recently submitted by a referee:

A CYC Official commented that he doesn’t often see opposing players applaud for the other team after a free throw has been made. However, he did witness this at one of IC-Arnold’s recent games! He wants to commend Natalie Briggs a 6th Grade Player on Immaculate Conception's Basketball Team and thank her for doing just that, for clapping for the opposing team after they made a free throw. This Random Act of Sportsmanship is a great example to other players and fans and sets the tone for a spirit of friendly competition at CYC games.

When you spot a RAS, please email a description of the act and the names of the people/teams involved to The CYC Office will be sure to acknowledge them. Visit the RAS page to read more!

Announcing: CYC Committee on Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is one of our core values at the CYC. We know the word means a lot of different things to different people. We believe sportsmanship involves:

  • Respect for your opponent, your teammates and your coach.
  • Playing the game the right way.
  • Responding to adversity in a positive and beneficial way.
  • Hold yourself accountable for your actions.
  • Everyone has an opportunity to play.

These are a few of the key components of sportsmanship. You may have others you could add to the list. Sportsmanship has received a lot attention lately. Honestly, that is because we have not been our best.
CYC needs to be better.

We have all seen videos of parents, coaches, players and officials acting inappropriately at youth sporting events. It has become a real issue. One major consequence of this behavior is a severe shortage of officials. This is an issue in our area and all over the country. Without officials, we cannot play the games.
CYC needs to be better.

Another consequence of the lack of sportsmanship is the effect it has on our kids. Their perception of how to play the game and how to react to certain situations is molded by the behavior of their parents and coaches. If we continue to yell at officials, criticize players and coaches, and disrespectfully address other parents, our kids will learn this is the way you deal with tough situations.

Sports teaches life lessons. Our kids learn how to deal with these life lessons when they play sports. This lack of sportsmanship will continue when our kids become parents and coaches. It will filter into the workplace and into other interactions in society. It’s a mindset we have to change. Now.

CYC needs to be better.

As the largest youth sports program in the St. Louis area and as a representative of our Catholic faith we should be the standard for sportsmanship. Right now, we are not. But that is about to change.

The CYC office is forming a Sportsmanship Committee to address all of these issues. We are interested in ideas and suggestions for our organization to improve in all things sportsmanship. We would like to set clear expectations for everyone in the CYC program with regards to sportsmanship. We are looking for ways to effectively promote our expectations to everyone in our organization.

We want you!

We are looking for a diverse group of passionate individuals to help us lead the way on this issue in St. Louis and take steps to creating a better overall experience for youth, coaches, fans, and officials.This committee will be comprised of parents, coaches, officials and clergy. We would like for all CYC districts to be represented. The commitment will likely be quarterly meetings, with some e-mail communication in between meetings.

If you would like to be a part this exciting initiative, or even if you just want to be on the list to receive more information, please sign-up here.

Together we can make the improvements we need to make to improve sportsmanship in the CYC program. CYC will be better. If you have more questions about this initiative, please e-mail

It's All About The Kids

Last week, I attended the CYC Archdiocesan volleyball playoffs at St Catherine Laboure. Whenever I visit a local CYC gym, I enjoy reading the banners on the wall. It’s fun to look for names of players who I have watched play over the years. It is like a CYC sports history lesson.

St Catherine Laboure has a successful CYC sports program. Over 60 banners on the wall will attest to many years of CYC champions. However, there is something different about the banners on the wall at St Catherine Laboure. Something I have never seen in all my years of banner watching. Not one banner included the name of a coach. Just the players’ names were displayed on each banner. Why is that? Because it is all about the kids.

I’m not saying everyone else is wrong for including names of coaches on their banners. Parents devote many hours to coaching and the recognition is good. Many of our schools and churches have banners, plaques, and other ways to recognize those who have served the parish. Our CYC coaches provide a valuable service to their parishes by giving time and talent to the kids they coach.

The true measure of success for your sports team should be the improvement made from the first day of practice to the final game of the season. If your team has developed their skills in a positive way and they play better as a team you have enjoyed a successful season. A coach’s value should be measured on these principles, not on a won-lost record. Sure, it’s great to have your name on a banner, but it is even greater to have a player tell you they had fun this season and they are a better player because of your coaching.

Humility is a virtue we should all work to embrace in our lives. Putting others needs before our own. Jesus was the model of humility; a true servant to others. When we coach CYC sports, everything we do must be for the kids. In victory, it is not our accomplishment as a coach, but the kids who deserve the praise. It is not about our name on a banner, or in the parish bulletin, or on a Facebook post. Coaches should use success as an opportunity to, as a team, thank God for the blessings of the gifts given, and praise the efforts of the players on the team.

We are grateful for the many hours our coaches spend with CYC teams. It can be a thankless job and the pay is pretty weak. We appreciate your efforts to serve your parish community and the kids on the team. Hopefully, your players and their parents will take the opportunity to thank you. We hope you, as a coach, take the opportunity to praise your players for their hard work, because, after all, it’s all about the kids.




CYC Basketball Officials Clinics


The CYC is hosting three clinics for anyone who currently officiates CYC basketball or is interested in offciating CYC basketball. These clinics are presented by experienced basketball officials and administrators.  

Topics will include:

  • Rules and Mechanics
  • Floor positioning
  • Effective communication with players, coaches and fans.
  • Fouls and violations
  • Review of video scenarios

Clinic locations are:

  1. Sunday November 25th - 1:00pm-3:00pm - Duchesne High School, 2550 Elm Street, 63301
  2. Sunday December 2nd - 1:00pm-3:00pm - Our Lady of the Pillar, 403 S. Lindbergh, 63131
  3. Saturday December 8th - 10:00am-Noon - Assumption, 4725 Mattis Road, 63128

All clinics are free of charge.  This is a great way to work on improving your performance as a CYC basketball official.  Don't pass up this opportunity. You owe it to yourself and to the kids to be the best you can be. See you there!

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