The athletic events held each year at the annual meeting foster a wonderful competition and camaraderie among members. Over the years, an impressive array of silver trophies has been accumulated by the organization. Most of these trophies are permanent and remain the property of the AOS, but occasionally in the past a trophy has been retired by the victor and replaced when the trophy is filled with names or has been given to an individual after multiple wins. The trophies are no longer displayed at the meeting, although a photo of the trophy may be presented at the awards Banquet.
No official record of sports activities was kept during the early meetings, possibly because “the short hard working meetings prior to 1923 gave little time for diversion” according to Maynard Wheeler in his history of the AOS. Dr. Wheeler also speculated that “the shift to three day meetings at resort hotels marked the beginning of not only the AOS enthusiasm for golf, but also for the awarding of trophies”. The first trophy was awarded in 1934, but no official list of winners was kept until 1972. The first Athletic Committee was formed in 1981 (George Weinstein) and the Athletic Committee now provides continuity for these events. The AOS website now has a detailed history of the athletic events and trophies as well as a photo of each of the trophies.
The athletic events are a unique and vital part of the AOS structure. They allow new and old members and their spouses to meet in an informal and friendly competition year after year. The AOS trophies, with past names engraved, connect us to an illustrious past.
The committee is charged with:
- Mixed scramble
- Men’s doubles
- Ladies doubles
- Mixed doubles
- Fly fishing
- Skeet shooting
- Fun run/walk
- Golf - Men’s
- Mishima-Michels Trophy – men’s low gross
- Canada-McCulloch Cup – men’s low net
- Truhlsen Trophy – >65 men’s low gross
- Knapp Memorial Trophy – men’s blind partners low net
- Golf – Women’s
- Ellsworth Trophy – Ladies low gross
- Homestead Cup – Ladies low net
- Tennis – Men’s doubles
- EVL Brown Bowl - Doubles winners
- EVL Brown Tray - Doubles Runner up
- Wilkinson Tray - >65 man with most games
- Tennis – Ladies doubles
- Perera Bowl - Doubles winners
- Hughes Bowl - Doubles runner up
- Tennis mixed doubles
- Wong McDonald Bowl - Mixed doubles winner
- Wilson trophy - Mixed doubles runner up
- Beetham Bullock Trophy - Skeet shooting
- McCaslin Fralick Kimura Trophy - Fly Fishing
The AOS office arranges reservations for golf and tennis courts at the meeting hotels well in advance of the meeting and in sufficient number to accommodate all who want to participate. Typically separate golf courses are reserved for men’s and ladies golf, and a sufficient number of tennis courts are secured for men’s, ladies, and mixed doubles tennis. The number of tee times and number of tennis courts is adjusted closer to the meeting to accommodate the number of players who sign up.
Skeet shooting and fly fishing are site specific and may not be available at all meeting locations. The fun run is a new event started in 2005 and has to date evolved into a recreational walk with no trophy presented.
At the meeting, the Athletic Director encourages sign ups for different events and works to help make the number of participants in golf and tennis convenient for that sport, i.e., arranging golf foursomes and assigning tee times, coordinating the round robin tennis competition for men’s, ladies, and mixed events, and establishing rules in advance for skeet shooting and fly fishing.
The Athletic Director may or may not participate in any of the events, but his/her principle task is to assure that all participants enjoy the events and that fair play and sportsmanship are practiced at all times. The ultimate goal of the AOS athletic events is to foster social and cultural exchange in a pleasant and casual atmosphere at an attractive and relaxing location.
The Athletics Director should confer with the AOS office six months before the annual meeting to establish before meeting announcement is sent out what events will be held and selection of golf and tennis court locations is made. The annual meeting announcements will solicit sign up for all interested in each event, but generally only half of those who show up for an event will have signed up in advance and on site sign up should usually be made available.
One month prior to the meeting, the golfers should be assigned to foursomes (requests are honored as much as possible) and tee times should be tentatively assigned. At this time, the number of tee times and the number of tennis courts is reviewed for the number of participants anticipated. Arrangements for fly fishing and skeet shooting should be confirmed if available.
At the meeting, final solicitations for signing up are made. The total number of participants are divided into appropriate foursomes in golf, and every effort should be made to get multiples of four players for both golf and tennis venues. The golf scorecards should be secured after play to determine low gross and low net Callaway scores for both men and ladies. The tennis events in the past have customarily been a round robin format for all participants who wish to play, then following play the #1 and
#4 players in terms of number of games won play the #2 and #3 players to determine the doubles winners and runner up prize recipients. Prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the Athletics Director with the permission of the Council for particular or unusual situations that may occur in the course of the competitions.
Announcement of Athletic Results
The Chair of the Committee on Athletics reports the results at the President’s Banquet the final night of the meeting, using slides to illustrate the silver trophies that are no longer brought to the Annual Meeting. The actual trophies have been donated to the Museum of the American Academy of Ophthalmology