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Original Issue


Sports Illustrated correspondents have reported on action—and inaction—in behalf of fitness. Here are excerpts of their findings which do not appear on previous pages:


There is little to report except a bill introduced in June in the U.S. House by Congressman George Huddleston Jr. of Alabama's Ninth District. The bill, H.R. 7875, would establish a U.S. Society for Civic Health through Athletic and Mental Proficiency, with the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare as chairman and six members appointed by the President. Function of the society would be 1) to encourage wholesome use of leisure time through cultural and physical achievements by granting honors and awards, on local, district, state and national level; 2) to establish nationwide standards and tests of achievement in fields of cultural and physical endeavor, on which awards would be based; 3) to cooperate with state and local organizations concerned with youth.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150-300 minutes per week.


In June, Phoenix voted bond issue which included $4,800,000 for parks and recreation. Maricopa County, with half of state's population, has built up a good recreation and parks program, with use of swimming pools and recreation areas and 25 school grounds, but more is needed. Many Mormon communities stress fitness.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 125 minutes per week in elementary school.


In Little Rock, YMCA's once-lagging fitness program for young businessmen has grown so large that three separate classes are being held.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 90-120 minutes per week.


(See page 30.)

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 250-300 minutes per week required for graduation.


Public schools are in domain of local school districts, which prohibits any over-all state planning for physical education. In Denver when swimming pools were proposed for four new high schools there was adverse public reaction, in face of a general classroom shortage and low teacher salaries.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


A University of Connecticut questionnaire showed 60% to 75% of the students were interested in physical fitness, wanted more mass exercise and wanted to know how they compared with others of their age. Hayes Kruger, physical education teacher at Duffy School in West Hartford, reports: "Whole families have become aware of the way youngsters were allowed to slide in physical education and are taking group exercises at home....

But there are too many empty play spaces in town."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


A committee is studying physical fitness tests to be used as uniform gauge in Delaware schools. In Wilmington, where school system is autonomous, results of Kraus-Weber testing in one junior high school
showed pupils to be about 30% above national level cited by Kraus and Prudden.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: two periods per week outside Wilmington, no requirements for Wilmington.


This state is adding more gymnastics and apparatus work to its physical education curriculum and is giving increasing attention to physical fitness testing. Annual total expenditures by cities and counties for parks and recreation have increased from about $4½ million in 1950 to nearly $13 million for 1956.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150-275 minutes per week, required for graduation.


A Georgia Fitness Committee has been established, but whether it will achieve any tangible results can only be judged in the future. Some Georgians have opposed the fitness program because Eisenhower is behind it. Physical education authorities have by and large rejected calisthenics.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150 minutes per week.


In Coeur d'Alene, physical education has been changed from a team-type program to one with more physical conditioning.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: in high school 90 class periods of one hour each over two semesters.


A bill passed by state legislature weakens physical education program in the public schools. It voids the former state requirement of 200 minutes a week for physical education alone and substitutes a requirement of a daily combination of physical education plus health instruction.

Governor William Stratton called a conference in May which resulted in a number of recommendations, most important of which proposed that governor appoint Illinois Youth Fitness Advisory Committee and that director of this committee contact each Illinois community head urging him to appoint local fitness council.

City of Rockford this summer is using tax money for new recreational facilities for the first time, as a result of a survey made two years ago by private agencies like the Y, boys' clubs, etc. Last winter city began keeping some gyms open at night.

Illinois is only state with organized 4-H Club fitness program. But even so, test results show that more than half of the Illinois 4-H members are below standard in organic and motor fitness, proving it is false to assume that boys and girls are fit just because they live on farm.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: a daily period of combined physical education and health instruction.


Indianapolis has a full-time recreation director, and a summer program employing 225 to maintain pools, tennis courts and golf courses. State physical education program leaders say President's conference had no appreciable effect on their program.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: one year's study in health and physical education required for graduation.


Committee on fitness that resulted from President's conference will recommend program of fitness for schools. Frank Sills of University of Iowa, committee chairman, hopes to have state director of fitness named by governor. He also wants an Every Iowa Pupil test for fitness, just as there is an EIP test for reading and arithmetic. Such a test would be given at beginning of first grade and would become part of child's record through the grades. Test would include squat-thrusts, pullups, short dashes and balance tests.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 50 minutes per week.


President's conference stirred up much interest at time but there has been no activity to broaden programs as yet.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: one unit required for graduation.


Physical education director for Jefferson County public schools (Louisville) heard Dr. Hans Kraus speak and was so impressed he initiated Kraus-Weber testing in the elementary schools. But in this, as in other Democratic states, there is a certain reluctance to respond to the program of a Republican President.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 180 minutes per week for one year.


Quentin R. Unger, director of health and physical education in State Education Department, made a survey of 185 high schools and 55 academies and parochial schools. Of these 240 schools, he found only 77 with full programs that meet suggested minimum requirements, 39 partial programs and 124 schools with no physical education programs at all, although 40 of these have gyms and other facilities. Unger says: "Facilities help, but lack of them shouldn't prevent a school from pushing a program and doing the best with what it has."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


The Maryland Department of Education issued an excellent booklet this year with recommendations to include calisthenics, tumbling, apparatus work in physical education classes.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


Ralph Colson of State Department of Education says: "We have had a law on the books for three years requiring physical fitness teachers to have at least 30 hours in the subject they are teaching. Last September, largely because of the President's push behind fitness, the law finally went into effect." An estimated 200 to 300 schools have used any or combination of seven fitness tests (AAU, Olympic, etc.).

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


In Pontiac, physical education classes were improved by being cut from 50 to 35 students. City has used $1½ million to build multipurpose rooms in grade schools which can be used for physical education.

In Flint the Kraus-Weber test was given to 14,759 children, but the failure rate among schools varied so greatly that the only resulting action was a mild recommendation to devote a part of each gym period to setting-up exercises.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


There has been an increase in formal gymnastics in public schools. Joseph Neal, director of the state department of physical education, said: "We are not trying to detract from sports like baseball and basketball, but also want to include other types of exercise in our program."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 120 to 150 minutes per week.


"Physical education is getting a new respectability," says State Supervisor of Physical Education Russell Lyons, of School Health Service. Many public schools are giving Kraus-Weber tests.

Recreation leaders point out that in Mississippi more natural exercise is available in walking and working on farms.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: daily period.


No statewide action yet, but St. Louis has been unusually active and progressive for years in youth athletic programs, including Turnverein societies that anticipated Ike's proposals by 100 years.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: two hours per week in high school.


Growing number of intramural activities and increasing emphasis on fitness of all students, not just the physically gifted. American Legion baseball program is extensive, with Babe Ruth, Little League, Little Guy Football programs expanding.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: in high schools, three hours per week for two years required for graduation.


Only state physical education requirement is that a school have "a well-rounded physical program, which means just about what the local school board wants it to," says Dr. Freeman B. Decker, State Commissioner of Education.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


Emphasis on fitness not necessary in Nevada, say state leaders, since way of life itself demands physical exercise. Space for physical education is no problem at all, and each high school student gets 50 to 55 minutes per day of physical education.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 250 minutes per week.


Department of Education abolished post of director of physical education when job became empty. Despite this, state has come out with new set of standards for physical education which go further than any previous ones.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


State Fitness Committee is under study. Since the President's conference there has been increased talk of stepping up minimum time requirements in physical education to one period a day.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150 minutes per week for combination of health and physical education.


Newly formed Council of Youth Fitness toured state to investigate fitness. Fred Hinger, state director of health, physical education and recreation said: "This was first time in 25 years I've been in New Mexico that positive action was taken...that everyone worked build up youth of our state." Council's work resulted in new recommendations for physical education, and next step will be to make program mandatory.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


Southeastern zone of New York Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation sponsored fitness contest in May in which 20 high schools in Westchester area selected the most fit boy and girl.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 120 to 300 minutes per week.


Dr. J. L. Pierce, health and physical education consultant to the North Carolina State Board of Health, says: "It is idle to talk about fitness programs till schools start with a physical exam of every youngster."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150 to 300 minutes per week, with one unit of physical education required for graduation.


Physical education and recreation leaders contend that fitness in North Dakota is not as deplorable as elsewhere. For many years city of Bismarck has made gyms available after hours for adult basketball and volleyball groups.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 300 minutes per week for two years of high school are required for graduation.


Paul Landis, Ohio Physical Education Director, says: "We do not have the facilities, the staff or the money, because too many schools put all their eggs in one basket by concentrating on just major sports for a few students....

Schools can't do the job on fitness by themselves. Youth agencies must make their contribution."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: two periods per week in high school with one unit required for graduation.


One educator said he thought President's conference "hadn't been advertised very well." Jack Moncrief, the Oklahoma City YMCA physical director has been giving Kraus-Weber test, and hopes to have tested 10,000 youngsters by end of year. Of those already tested, 58% (virtually the same as in the original report) have failed.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 60 minutes per day for one year during high school.


During 1955-56 school year Rogers Physical Fitness Index was given to children in 11 high schools in state, a program led by Dr. H. Harrison Clarke, research professor of physical education at University of Oregon. Those below par were given special exercises, then retested in three months. Retests showed great improvement. 1955 legislature removed requirement that physical education be taught.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


State Legislature directed Joint State Government Commission to study the problems of physical fitness of Pennsylvania children and prepare remedial legislation for next session. Throughout state there are approximately 1,200 extensive recreational programs, an increase over last year of some 150 programs. Steps taken to organize Youth Fitness Council.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: two periods a week for grades 7 through 12.


John Osterberg, supervisor of athletics in Providence school system, gave Kraus-Weber test to 7 of 8 junior high schools and 3 of 4 senior high schools. He says state's requirements are "antiquated." A good many teachers, he says, interpreted setting-up exercises to mean sitting-up exercises, so they told pupils to practice sitting up straight.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 80 minutes per week, with one point required for graduation.


Considerable statewide change in physical education programs in the past year. Year ago there were 105,000 students taking physical education classes, now there are 25% more.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: three years during high school, with no specific time allotment, but¼ credit counting toward graduation.


Most schools lack facilities or enough students to start a program. Dr. John Van Why, head of physical education at the University of South Dakota, has been outstanding in promoting fitness. He has a weekly TV show stressing athletics and fitness and is also pushing to get physical education required in high schools, although no action has yet been taken on this.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


Little to report except that in Memphis city parks more than 1,000 boys and girls from 6 to 15 took the AAU fitness test.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: one year of physical education for graduation.


In Dallas there are more after-school programs of athletics taking place both at schools and in parks, due to a combined effort of the school district and of the parks department. There are gyms in 90% of all elementary schools.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150 to 180 minutes per week, with two credits toward graduation.


The Utah Council on Child and Youth Fitness, appointed by Governor George Dewey Clyde, recently held first meeting. The number of baseball diamonds for the Western Boys Baseball League has grown considerably.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 100 to 180 minutes per week for two years, with graduation credit.


Trend toward more vigorous physical education programs for "development of the whole body" and a greater emphasis on intramural sports. Vermont is trying to correct the fact that in the past physical education programs have built strong legs but overlooked development of other parts of body, particularly arms and shoulders.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.


Dr. Harold K. Jack, supervisor of physical and health education of State Education Department says: "There's no question about it: teachers, pupils, school administrators and parents are more alert to the need for fitness training. We know that our programs have been strengthened."

But Ludwell E. Sherman, Supervisor of Physical Education for Richmond schools, says: "In this city, schools which are required to have a daily physical education period get only two or three periods a week, due to overcrowding and lack of facilities."

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: daily period grades one through 12.


Six elementary schools, with total of 3,000 youngsters, were given Kraus-Weber test, with resulting failure of 47%. In three of six schools special programs emphasizing fitness were set up, and retest given at end of same year. Three schools with stepped-up programs, when retested, showed a failure of 17.4%. Seattle school system has set aside $3,900,000 for additional gyms.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 90 to 100 minutes per week.


Committee composed of secondary school principals has been working for two years on a study of physical education curricula in public schools. This fall committee will bring out a new booklet emphasizing physical training in lower grades, and inservice training periods will be provided for teachers to acquaint them with new methods.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 120 minutes per week for health and physical education.


A year after Annapolis conference a special committee of Wisconsin Education Association is still studying conference report.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: 150 minutes per week.


Fitness problem here is not so severe because of natural recreation facilities and space. Wyoming points with pride to fact that physical disability rejections by Selective Service were lower for Wyoming than for any other state.

Statewide phys. ed. requirements: none.