2015-16 America's Best Athletic Program Official Rules

USA TODAY HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

AMERICA’S BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC PROGRAM CONTEST OFFICIAL RULES

1.     Description: USA TODAY High School Sports (“Sponsor”) is sponsoring a national competition of high schools to determine 2015-16 America’s Best Athletic Program, Sponsor has selected the high schools (public or private high schools) from each state which have won a state championship in a state-sanctioned sport in the last three academic years (2012-2015). There will be two (2) parts to the Contest to determine the best high school athletic program. The first contest phrase is the State Contest and the second contest phase is the National Contest.  The State phase of the Contest will be conducted as defined below in Section 2 below and there will be a new State voting round every two weeks.   The State winners will advance to the National Phase, which will consist of two rounds of voting. .  The Contest Period commences at 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) August 31, 2015 and ends at 5:00 p.m. (E.T.) on June 2, 2016.

2.     State Contest: The State Contest commences at 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) August 31, 2015 and ending at 2:00 p.m. (E.T.) September 11, 2015 (“State Contest”). There will be seventeen (17) State group contests consisting of three (3) States each. Voting for State group will be for two (2) weeks, with voting for the first group beginning at 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) August 31, 2015 and ending at 2:00 p.m. (E.T.) September 11, 2015. The voting period for each state is a total of twelve (12) days during the hours of 12:00 p.m. (E.t.) on the first day through 2:00 p.m. (E.T.) of the twelfth day. All eligible voters may submit votes by going to http://contest.usatodayhss.com/and clicking “Vote Now” and select one of schools listed in each State group. The top two (2) States in each group which receive the highest number of eligible votes will advance National Contest.  At the end of the State Contest, the eighteen (18)high schools that receive  the highest number of eligible votes overall, but did not finish in the top two in their State group (“Wild Cards”) will advance to the National Contest.

3.     National Contest: The National Contest will consist of two (2) rounds of voting. The 102 State winners, selected as defined in Section 1, and the 18 Wild Cards will be divided into two groups alphabetically, 60 schools each in each group. All eligible voters may submit votes by going to http://contest.usatodayhss.com/ and vote for one of the schools.

Group Round: The Group Round shall begin at 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) May 16, 2016 and end at 2:00 p.m. (E.T.) May 24, 2016, The 10 schools from each of the two (2) groups that receive the highest number of eligible votes will move on to the Final Round, along with the five (5) schools who receive the highest number of eligible votes , no matter what group, that did not finish in the top ten (10) of its group.

Final Round: The Final Round shall begin at 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) May 25, 2016 and end at 2:00 p.m. (E.T.) June 2, 2016.  The Final Round will consist of 25 schools from the Preliminary Round. At the end of the Final Round the three (3) schools which receive the highest number eligible votes will be the winners.

4.     Voting ProceduresVoting is open to individuals who are legal residents of the U.S. or District of Columbia and who are 13 years or older at time of voting.  Individuals may vote multiple times but Sponsor will disregard or disqualify multiple votes submitted by means of software generated or other automated processes, or by other means not permitted by the Official Rules, or votes of any voters who Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, are tampering or impairing  the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the contest.  Your computer must accept cookies, or any successor or similar technology, which may be used for the purpose of vote tracking. Ad blocking software on your computer needs to be disabled so that it doesn’t interfere with processing your votes.

5.     Winner Selection & Prizes:  On June 2, 2016, three (3) winners (First Place, Second Place, and Third Place) will be determined, which will be the schools that received the highest number of eligible votes in the Final Round of the National Contest. 

First Place Prize: The Athletic Dept. of the high school will receive $2,500. Second Place Prize:  The Athletic Dept. of the high school c will receive $1,500. Third Place Prize: The Athletic Dept. of the high school will receive $500.  [Total ARV of all prizes: $4,500]. Prizes are non-assignable and nontransferable.  No substitutions allowed by winner.  Prizes are not redeemable for cash.  Prizes and individual components of prize packages are subject to availability and Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value.  Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. Except where prohibited, acceptance of any prize constitutes winner’s consent to the publication of the name and likeness of the schools, Athletic Director, and team members, in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation the Internet, or further compensation. 

6.     Winner Notification:  Each of the three (3) winning teams will be notified on or about June 2, 2016. Sponsor will call the Director of the High School’s Athletic Dept. during regular business hours and will leave no messages.  Failure to reach one of the winning schools by phone after three (3) attempts may result in disqualification, forfeiture of the prize, and selection of a substitute winner. The winning voters will be notified by email or phone. Failure to reach any of the winning voters by phone after three (3) attempts or return of email notification as undeliverable or failure of winner to respond to the email notification may result in disqualification, forfeiture of the prize, and selection of a substitute winner.

7.     Participation:   Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons (and votes submitted by such individuals) found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this promotion or who has not complied with the Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor.  In the event the promotion is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor that corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the promotion, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the promotion.  Should the promotion be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize money based on the eligible votes received before the termination date.  Sponsor will not be responsible for failure to receive votes or other electronic communications due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender of Sponsor.  In the event of a dispute, all votes will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the ISP account from which they were sent.  For these purposes, an ISP account holder shall mean the natural person assigned to such ISP account by the Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning ISP addresses for the domain associated with such ISP account.  Any questions regarding the number of entries or votes submitted by the owner of an ISP account shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.  In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.

8.     Sponsor:  The Best Athletic Program Contest is sponsored by USA TODAY High School Sports.  The decisions of Sponsor regarding the selection of winners, eligibility of votes, number of votes submitted, and all other aspects of the promotion shall be final and binding in all respects.  Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to this promotion. If you have any questions or for a copy of this Official Rules, please contact David Scott at descott@usatoday.com

SUBJECT TO APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.

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