You try out for a sport. It’s sophomore year, and you are sure you’re going to make varsity. You practiced and played as much as you could in order to do your very best at the try out. The teams come out and you eagerly search for your name among the varsity athletes.
It isn’t there.
You keep looking and, there, on the bottom of the page you see the C-team list, and your name is on it.Well, maybe I’ll get playing time since I’m probably one of the better athletes.
You get benched. The freshman play in front of you. The whole season you only play one game. What was the point of that? I hate that stupid sport. I quit.
This is a real story of someone who went to BRFHS. The athlete worked hard, went to the try outs and made a team but got no playing time. Instead of being able to cut this person and save them the time and energy of coming to practices for nothing, the coach had to place the person on a team because that is the policy here. No cuts.
BRFHS has had this no-cut policy in place for a long time, so long that no one quite remembers when the rule was changed, just that it was. There is no official policy printed in the athletic handbook, but the unwritten policy goes like this: Every single person interested must make a team. It doesn’t have to be varsity, but there has to be a spot for them.
It’s not a very wise use of resources. A coach will get easily run down with so many players to attend to and hiring another coach costs the district more money. So why do we have this policy in place?
It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if it all started with a kid. Let’s call him Billy, although his name could be anything–Ben, Beth, or Brielle. Billy didn’t make a team. Billy’s mom was so mad that she chewed out the coach and the school because all students should get a chance to play the sports they want to. It makes sense: students are at an age when all their parents want for them is to be included. Thus the no-cut policy began. No more problems with parents.
However, it creates problems with students. The talented players don’t receive the attention they deserve because the coach ends up having to explain basic concepts to someone who doesn’t understand.
Another example is a kid who gets benched all the time starts to brew up resentment for the coach and the game. This is because going to practice and games is a sacrifice. The student gives up jobs, social life, and many other normal aspects of being a teenager. All for what? To sit on the bench? That makes students upset.
Another issue with no-cuts is that it isn’t teaching students about life. In the real world, not everyone gets the job, promotion, or raise. That isn’t how life works, and although it may be unfair, it is a hard truth that students need to learn.
According to Coach & Ad magazine, students are more likely to move on and find something else they enjoy when they are cut, versus staying on a team and never getting to play. They even find local intramural or club sports that can be rewarding and fun.
A writer at Moms Team, a website for sports parents says the opposite. They claim that this is a time where students are learning who they are and need to be accepted. When teams cut players, it damages students’ self esteem. No-cut sports are encouraging students of all athletic types to go out and enjoy a sport they like.
Despite having only about 31% participation in sports here. We should really look into teams being able to cut players. Especially when there are so many that go out for one sport. Leaving kids on a team with no playing time fuels their resentment towards the activity and that is not healthy for anyone.