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Spokane Empire

AFL to use six officials this year

The Arena Football League will move to a six-man officiating crew during the 2012 season it announced Monday.

The league will utilize one referee, an umpire, line judge, side judge and two back judges. The AFL will still use regional officiating crews. 

The league has also changed replay and challenge rules for its 25th season.  Coaches’ challenges and replays will be available for all regular-season and postseason games. Teams will get two per game. If they win both, a third will be available. Challenges will only be allowed if the team has a timeout remaining. 

• The Spokane Shock signed defense end James Ruffin to the 2012 roster.

The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Ruffin, from Northern Iowa University, appeared in four preseason games with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011. He spent the 2010 season on the Bengals’ practice squad.


Katie Morris of Shadle Park, a state-placing distance runner, has accepted a scholarship to run for Seattle Pacific University, her coach, Bob Isitt announced.

Morris placed third in the State 3A 800 meters last spring as a junior with a school-record time of 2 minutes, 13.66 seconds, and sixth in the 1,600 after winning the District 8 800. A stress fracture in a foot short-circuted her senior cross country season after she had top-eight state finishes as a sophomore and junior to earn All-State honors.


North Idaho College collected five pins, including one by Caleb Rivera in 1:43 at 184 pounds, in a 45-3 victory Monday at Yakima Valley College.

Jarrett Morrill (141), Ryan Zumalt (157), Kyle Sweedman (174) and Justin Korthuis (197) also won by fall.

Women’s basketball

Two Eastern Washington players collected athlete of week honors in the wake of the Eagles’ sweep of Montana and Montana State on the road last weekend.

Chene Cooper, who averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds, was the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week. Brianne Ryan (18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists) received the same honor from College Sports Madness.

Men’s tennis

Marius Cirstea of Idaho is the WAC Player of the Week after going 2-1 in No. 1 singles and 1-1 in No. 1 doubles.