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Michigan High School Golf Cheating

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Interesting article this morning about a cheating scandal at Michigan High Schools. The theme of the article is around using technology to eliminate that in the future. I wish the article also included how they dealt with the coaches and the players!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/a-major-high-school-golf-cheating-scandal-leads-to-implementation-of-new-scoring-system-for-2019

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This article caused me to research the original controversy. 

https://www.freep.com/story/sports/high-school/2018/06/07/anchor-bay-lanse-creuse-qualify-state-golf-amid-controversy/682722002/

Looking over some scores on Birdie Fire, the kids on these two teams, with the exception of one, struggled all season to break 90.  Somehow, in the regional finals, they are posting individual scoring averages of 71.  Hummmmm!?!?!?

One of the schools has taken down the golf portion of the school athletic website while the other school has taken the entire athletic website down.

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I read the Free Press online every day, so I saw this awhile back. I played HS golf in Michigan, and I’ve coached golf for years, so this ROYALLY ticked me off. The coaches ought to be prevented from coaching ANY sport in Michigan again, and the kids who cheated prevented from playing in matches ever again. I’m old school. Teach them ALL a lesson so it never happens again. No “excuses”, as this was premeditated....


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Just now, PMookie said:

I read the Free Press online every day, so I saw this awhile back. I played HS golf in Michigan, and I’ve coached golf for years, so this ROYALLY ticked me off. The coaches ought to be prevented from coaching ANY sport in Michigan again, and the kids who cheated prevented from playing in matches ever again. I’m old school. Teach them ALL a lesson so it never happens again. No “excuses”, as this was premeditated....


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If I understand correctly, the two schools suspected of cheating are within close proximity to one another and share the same home course.  Is this correct?

If so, it's very hard to imagine this not being premeditated!

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I'm a high school golf coach in Colorado where we are required to use iWannamaker for scoring our events. For those not familiar, iWannamaker is an online scoring app that can record real time hole-by-hole scores and allow parents not on site to see how their players are doing. It could also be used by coaches to monitor scores during a round. It does not necessarily prevent cheating of the sort that occurred in this case because if whoever is entering the scores has agreed to enter false scores for all the players, there is nothing to stop that. However, it would allow someone who is watching to possibly recognize that something fishy is going on and send someone to monitor any players with questionable looking scores. They wouldn't necessarily be able to do anything about scores on already completed holes, but their presence might prevent any additional cheating from happening.

At the regional events (where players qualify for the state championship) that my team participates in, we make sure the host school recruits volunteer markers so that a marker walks with each group to verify and enter their scores into iWannamaker. Prior to us using iWannamaker, we also had markers who walked with the groups.

iWannamaker has its pluses and minuses. I personally am not a fan of making the players enter scores to the app between holes. I feel it is a distraction to what they should be focusing on (the upcoming shot). When our team hosts an event, we try to get volunteers (usually players from the girl's team during boys season, or players from the boy's team during girls season) to be stationed every few holes to collect and post scores from the passing groups. Sometimes we ask the coaches to do it for the groups that contain their players.

As a coach who has experience observing kids who have tried to cheat, I don't think iWannamaker is really much of a solution. Oversight at important events for each group through all 18 holes is much more effective.

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Thanks for the insights @golfcoach.jp!  It's pretty darn sad that an adult would find the need to win so important they would do this. 


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There is no chance these coaches did not know what was going on. Kids are immature and will get away with whatever they can get away with. The coaches should have been dismissed for accepting those scores. They had to know better.


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