It has been a while since I last sat down to write an article for Battle Born Preps, January 29th to be precise. We have all sheltered-in-place, since then, which ended the spring sports season for our high school athletes. I remember when it began, we all hoped to only lose a few weeks, perhaps a month. Then we hoped to be back in May. After that we held out hope for some sort of abbreviated playoffs. At each step we only experienced more disappointment. It is now July and we are no closer to understanding what the Fall sports season might look like.
The Washoe County School District (WCSD) and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) are working with local, county, and state officials in an effort to create a plan for our teachers, coaches, and student-athletes. They are wrestling with the same issues we see our government officials wrestling with including masks and social distancing. Can you imagine being the person responsible for writing the policies, procedures, and guidelines for our Fall athletic programs, I am glad it is not me! If we don’t see our normal Fall sports approved, I have been thinking about what the alternatives, might look like, so here you go!
FOOTBALL – we may not see tackle football approved for the Fall and I am not working off of any type of inside information. Let’s suppose the WCSD and the NIAA do not give a thumbs-up to tackle football, that leaves one option: 7 On 7. In 7 On 7 you have 7 players on both offense and defense. Play is quick with the quarterback reading the defense and throwing the ball in a couple seconds. A lot of our high school teams have a 7 On 7 team, so switching from tackle to touch wouldn’t be a stretch for most of our schools, but the big loser would be the lineman. 7 On 7 only has one lineman, a center, who stays in to block the one defensive player who rushes the quarterback. Our big guys would have to learn how to run pass plays or, and here is where this gets fun, maybe we run a division for players over 190 pounds!
SOCCER – there is a surprising amount of contact of in soccer, so, how about 5 On 5? 5 On 5 is played on a smaller field. There are some fun advantages to 5 On 5. The game moves much quicker, substitutions can be made on the fly, and there is no offsides which leads us to the best part of 5 on 5 soccer, no arguments about offsides.
VOLLEYBALL – we have all been to the beach and played hours of beach volleyball, 2 On 2, 3 On 3, 4 On 4, and so on. Slicing the number of players on the court down wouldn’t be difficult and could produce some fantastic volleyball for spectators, coaches, and players. And while we are at it, let's open it up to guys so we can have mixed doubles!
I don’t want to see these suggestions put into play because I want to see our student-athletes playing the sports they have grown up playing, but, if that is not an option, I hope we find alternatives for them so they don’t miss out on an entire season, especially the seniors.