Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Basketball More Important Than Volleyball

Burroughs High School has decided that the basketball team is more important than the Ladies Volleyball Team.

According to the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS), which controls our local high school sports, volleyball is a fall sport and basketball is a winter sport.

For many years now the volleyball team has had the use of the school gym after school and evenings during the fall volleyball season for freshman, junior varsity and varsity practices. However this year that has all changed.

Without consulting or considering the opinions of the Volleyball Coaching Staff, the school administration has decided to add an eighth period to the day. This period will only have one class in it - a physical education class. The most amazing thing about this class is that the only students who are enrolled in this class are the boys and girls who are members of the school basketball teams.

The effect on the volleyball team of adding this class is that they lose their use of the gym for their practices. This leaves them with several options:

  • Combine two of the teams practice times. JV and Varsity, JV and Freshman or Varsity and Freshman.
  • Extend the normal practice schedule out so that the last practice of the day ends at 10 PM.
  • Move one of the team practices to a different facility.

In their infinite wisdom the school has decided that the freshman team practices will be held at the Kerr McGee Center gym.

This means that the freshmen players and coaches will be completely isolated from the JV and Varsity teams. The freshman will have to play all their games in a gym and on a court that is dramatically different than the one they practice on. The freshmen players and coaches have to commute across town now. The freshman players will have to practice without the equipment and facilities that they JV and Varsity get to use.

All three volleyball teams have to suffer for the sake of some additional off-season basketball practices. While this may not be a violation of the letter of the CIF-SS rules it is certainly seems to violate of the spirit of those rules.

CIF-SS Rule 1608 states:

Organized team practice shall be interpreted as meaning the association of a coach with potential team members for the purpose of learning or practicing the skills of basketball.

Organized before and after-school team practice may not be conducted until November 12, and may continue until a school’s final league or CIF Southern Section playoff contest. Before November 12, and until May 15, coaches may associate with potential team members for the purpose of learning or practicing the skills of basketball only during one regular physical education class.

In order to take advantage of the exception allowed in that last sentence Burroughs High School has added an entire extra class period in their day just for the basketball team to get in several months of extra practice in direct violation of the no practice before Nov 12th rule. It’s too bad that they had to sacrifice their freshman volleyball program and the esteem of their JV and Varsity teams to do so.

I have been watching JV, Varsity and freshman tryouts for the last week or so and I have heard what the players on these three teams have been saying among themselves. Every single female athlete on the volleyball teams has gotten the message from the school loud and clear:

Volleyball and the athletes that play it are not important to the school administration.

The athletes are mad about this decision, the parents are upset with this decision, and the coaches hate this situation they are stuck with. When they find out about it the taxpayers in this town should be upset about it. In order to provide these additional off-season basketball practices the school district has to rent the municipal gym at the Kerr McGee center every weeknight for the duration of the volleyball season. All so the basketball team which isn't even supposed to be practicing until Nov 12th can hold off-season practices in the gym that during the fall should belong to the volleyball team.

It would seem fair that if they want to hold off-season practices that the basketball team should be the ones to have to use the off campus facility. But that would not be allowed under CIF-SS rule 1608. So I have to ask, when the volleyball season ends and basketball season starts will the volleyball team be allowed to take the new 8th period PE class? I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. After all, Basketball is king! Volleyball players are just second class citizens according to the Burroughs High School Administration.

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