Should Arizona H.S. Sports Follow California Plan?

On Monday, California is expected to announce the upcoming high school football and girls volleyball seasons are being pushed back to start in January. Should Arizona do the same?

If girls volleyball were pushed back to a January start, what happens during the club season for that sport? The club volleyball calendar starts the first of the year. Unlike football, volleyball club season is vital for exposure against top level competition. Will the powers-that-be in California allow players to participate on both their school and club team at the same time? What about the girl that plays volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter?

Will she be given the ability to play both sports? What about the high schools with small enrollments who rely on multi-sport players?  Having been a club volleyball dad for two of our kids, I’d say that most girls would go play for their club team over the high school, which is too bad. There’s something special about representing your school in front of your peers and teachers, rather than a match vs Club Red at 8 am on court four, followed by another match on court 7 at 9:20 am. etc, etc, etc.. But in the sport of volleyball playing against the highest competition in front of dozens of college coaches will win out. 

Because there isn’t a club season in football, moving the sport back wouldn’t be a problem from that standpoint. Sure, there will be the fringe 7 on 7 ‘s  that would scream, but college coaches want to see 11 on 11, full speed, with pads on. Overlapping with basketball and wrestling would be more challenging for the coaches, than the player in my opinion. Coaches talk and talk about how they encourage and embrace kids to play multiple sports, but by the time the kid is done with high school, he’s been put in to the football box of nearly year-round requirements. Why can’t a high end athlete play football on Friday nights and wrestle or be on the basketball court the following Tuesday? I don’t want to hear the “overuse” excuse. Leave it up to the kid. Coaches would have to be flexible.

For the high school senior who already has his scholarship in place, would he even play on the school team if there’s a late start? For the majority who are still trying to get a college offer or figure out if they want to continue playing after  high school, it’s vital to have some sort of season 

The main problem with pushing football until January is the 2021 season. Players and coaches wouldn’t have the much  needed downtime before ramping right back up in May . Other issues include field space and conditions. High school soccer season happens on beat up football fields every winter. Would field conditions be safe enough for the pounding of three sports? (Time once again  to have that field turf conversation with your district :)) I’d be in favor of starting football workouts in November with games beginning in early- December. The season would be wrapped up by mid-February. 

I’m still of the opinion that it’s doubtful we will have a football or girls volleyball season this fall. If we do it would truncated and, wouldn’t start until mid-September at the earliest. What California announces tomorrow should have no bearing on what Arizona decides to do, but it’s certainly worth watching.