Gretchen Wolf Swartz refereed girls high school basketball from 1981 to 1995 advocating and displaying sportsmanship. Following her untimely death to leukemia in 1997, fellow officials discussed a memorial fund to promote sportsmanship. In December of 1999 the Gretchen Wolf Swartz Scholarship Fund, Inc. gained 501(c)(3) acceptance. Following a fund-raising campaign, the first scholarships were awarded in 2000-2001.
Each year, the York Chapter of PIAA Basketball officials will choose a girls’ and a boys’ basketball team from a YAIAA member school. Observing grades 7-12, the officials look for examples of good sportsmanship in coaches, fans, staff, cheerleaders, and players. Two traveling trophies are awarded annually, in recognition of the schools’ good sportsmanship.
In addition the award qualifies senior participants in the winning team’s basketball program (players, cheerleaders, managers) to apply for a post secondary school scholarship.