NORTH CALDWELL, N.J. (AP) _ A 16-year-old girl who prefers fencing with a sabre rather than a foil says she should be allowed on a boys high school team because another young New Jersey female has been allowed to play football on a male squad.

''I love the sport and there isn't a girls sabre team,'' said Deb Schiff, a junior at West Essex Regional High School. ''I really like the sabre a lot. So, my choice is to fence on the boys team. The girls team is a foil team.''

At West Essex, only the boys squad is allowed to use sabres - swords with two cutting edges. A foil is flexible and four-sided.

And under state athletic rules, Schiff cannot compete on the boys team because the school has a girls division in the sport. West Essex officials have requested that the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association grant a waiver for the teen-ager.

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NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees have announced the addition of Bill Dowling as vice president and general counsel; Harvey Greene as director of media relations and Steve Donohue as assistant trainer.

Dowling joins the Yankees from the New York State Attorney General's Office, where he spent 6 1/2 years as Deputy Chief Assistant Attorney General.

Greene joins the Yankees after spending almost three years as the public relations director of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also has held public relations positions with Madison Square Garden and the New Jersey Nets.

Donohue, filling the assistant trainer position that became available when Mark Letendre became head trainer with the San Francisco Giants, is entering his eighth season in the Yankee organization.

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Patty Costello of Scranton, Pa. has been elected Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour Player of the Year for 1985 by the membership of the LPBT in the closest race in the three years the honor has been awarded.

Costello, a 17-year veteran, won the LPBT voting race by a single vote over defending Player of the Year Aleta Sill of Detroit.

Costello, the winningest woman bowler in history, won three titles during the 1985 season, including the richest prize of her career when she closed the year with her victory in the $100,000 LPBT Tournament of Champions. That victory, which equaled Sill's three titles in 1985, gave Costello her highest annual earnings year ever with $44,455, second only to Sill's $52,655.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Curtis Strange are among the eight golfers scheduled to compete in the $250,000 Fred Meyer Challenge to be held Aug. 18-19.

Also scheduled to participate are Gary Player, Peter Jacobsen, Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller. Chi Chi Rodriguez will conduct a clinic during the event and will serve as an alternate.

The golfers will play in two-man teams in the match-play, best-ball event, with the winners splitting $100,000. Second-place finishers get $60,000, while golfers will receive $50,000 for third and $40,000 for fourth. The makeup of the teams has not been announced.

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BRADFORD, Pa. (AP) - The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has applied to join NCAA Division II and plans to leave the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics after this school year.

Pitt-Bradford has already notified NAIA District 18 members that it will compete as an independent during the 1986-87 basketball season, when more than half of its games will be against NCAA opponents.

''There is concern of the future of the NAIA and District 18,'' said Pitt- Bradford Athletic Director Tom Ackerman, also the school's basketball coach. ''A lot of NAIA schools are now applying for Division II. It is more prestigious and is helpful in recruiting.''