Wishful thinking: Boys and girls sports should play on different days

Crowd size differs between boys and girls basketball games.

courtesy of Grace Brooks and Jordan Nicolet

Crowd size differs between boys and girls basketball games.

by Tommy Moyer, Reporter

It isn’t fair that no one on the girls basketball team got to see class of 2018 member Rafael Rios’s winning half court shot against Urbana in his freshman year or that the boys team didn’t get to see the girls basketball team win on free throws in the final seconds against Oakdale last year. The same holds true for all the moments missed by the soccer teams and lacrosse teams, who share the same issue of scheduling that basketball has.

In Frederick County, boys and girls sports play on the same day to facilitate scheduling of athletic events. By scheduling games against the same school, the problem of only having one stadium or main gym per school is solved by having one team play “home” and the other “away”.

This system makes it impossible for players or spectators to watch both events. With a limited fan base, fans are forced to choose between both games.

Many members of the school teams wish they could watch more of the other teams.

Class of 2018 member Drew Twillman (boys basketball, golf, and lacrosse teams) said,”I would go to the games to show my school spirit, support my friends that are playing, and give them more fan support.”

Class of 2019 basketball player Shay Arneson echoed Twillman’s thoughts.

“It would be awesome to support the boys team and have them support us to show school unity,” said Arneson.

According to Athletic Director Mr. Sonny Joseph, the schedules are determined by a committee representing Frederick and Washington counties. They are made in a two-year cycle.

Playing girls and boys sports on the same day is the easiest way to accommodate all schools’ schedules because some schools have limited uses of facilities. For example, Middletown doesn’t have an auxiliary gym, so balancing wrestling and basketball events becomes a challenge.  

Wishes can’t come true in this case. The schedule is as fair as it can possibly be. The practice and game times are exactly equal, as well as the price for admission. Although fan attendance is often skewed towards one game, there is no way that the school can improve this area.

Joseph explained that each school can put in specific requests to play some games on different days. He said that he tries to make the Urbana basketball games on different days each year so that more people can attend them.

He also said he realizes it is an inconvenience for parents who have sons and daughters who play the same sport, but it is out of his hands to completely revamp the schedule for that small group.

Since the schedule is designed with the interests of two counties worth of schools in mind, it would be foolish to suggest that every game could be played on different days. In fact, Joseph said no school in either county plays all of their sports on different days.

While it would be great for students to be able to go to whatever games they wished, it wouldn’t be at all feasible. There are ways to have both sports teams play on different days.

For example, both JV teams could play at the same facility, and both varsity teams could play at the other facility. This situation has the drawback of forcing one team to play at the less desirable 5:30 time slot, and it denies the JV teams the ability to watch the varsity games.

Any way the schedule is configured, there will be one team who feels like they got a worse deal than the others. Students should pack the stadiums on the rare games that don’t conflict with others, or try going to games they might not know much about. All of the games are a lot of fun, and going to a variety of events is the best way to show school spirit.