Tryouts for overlapping sports conflict with fairness

Nadov Rader, Reporter

There are two types of people. Those who love sports and those who don’t. Usually the ones who love them like to play them. It’s common for student athletes to play two or even three school sports.

Overlapping sports conflict with tryouts and shouldn’t make it easier for an athlete to make a team. While coaches want to be fair and leave spots open for multiple sport athletes, this shouldn’t make tryouts less competitive.

There are a few problems with the transition between sports seasons in high school.

The first problem is time. These athletes miss the beginning of their season. Fall sports playoffs tend to overlap with winter sports tryouts and the same thing happens in the spring.

The second problem is that coaches, whether intended or not, tend to be more lenient with cuts because the late comers aren’t being assessed during tryouts. By the time they “try out” the team is already practicing regularly which is less demanding than a typical tryout. They tend to be more accepting. Coaches should assess these athletes the same. It’s only fair.

The last problem ties into a coach’s assessment. An athlete who has overlapping sports has an advantage because official tryouts have already happened, most cuts have been made and coaches must leave a roster spot available for late comers.

According to Athletic Director Nate Severin, the district requires to let all athletes try out even if it is later due to playoffs from a previous sports season. So when these late comers try out, there’s a spot waiting for them. Coaches don’t want to waste a roster spot.

During four season transitions I was one of these athletes, who came late to tryouts. The team was already cut out, and there were extra roster spots for me and the other late comers “just in case” we make the team.

Because they can’t fill those spots before we even try out because then that wouldn’t be fair for us. An alternative approach would be to create a waiting list and if the late comers truly deserve the roster spot then they should be given it. If not, then the people on the waiting list should be called up for the spot.

Most varsity coaches, know the skill levels of the juniors and seniors trying out late and have a good idea whether or not they’ll make the team. Freshman and JV sports have it harder and need a solution.

I have an alternative solution: two rounds of cuts.  The first round of cuts would happen as it normally does. Then the coach would advise the remaining prospective players tryouts aren’t over. A second round would occur that includes the late comers. This eliminates the problem of reserving roster spots, and the coaches will assess more effectively making it more competitive to make the team.