The Ole Ball Game

High school ball equals no play time

by Frustrated parent
(Delaware)

Photo Bill Stanton:  Checkswing.com

Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com

Frustrated parent asked: How to handle.... New coaches to a high school. they roster 32 kids on the team...half varsity, half JV.... No freshmen team. Three games in the JV season, no play time for 10 JV players... Limited time for 6 JV players as varsity non starters come down to play at the JV level.


My son is a good, solid ball player... Power hitter. Plays travel and league... Can't even get into a game at school. Sits and sits and sits.

Thoughts? Suggestions? The team has also forbidden playing for other teams while school ball is in season so my son is playing NO baseball....

Rick answered: Thank you for your question.

You have described what is certainly a tough situation for the JV players.

From your son's standpoint, I would suggest that he speak with his JV coach, and ask what areas the coach feels he needs to improve in, and work diligently in those areas. The coach should certainly be willing to speak with him and let him know where he feels improvement is needed to get into the games.

I personally believe that JV and Freshman teams are there to provide players an opportunity to learn the game and develop. That should include game time, so that they have the opportunity to use the skills learned, in a competitive environment.

I have never been a believer in sending Varsity non-starters down to play JV games. I always felt they were 2 seperate teams, but one program. Some coaches believe in moving players up and down.

The rule about not playing on another team during the school season is probably a State Athletic Association rule, not the coaches. We have that same rule in Arizona, it comes out of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

The player situation you describe is more about a coching philosophy. I don't know how well you know the varsity coaches, or how approachable they might be.

While I don't think they would be receptive to discussing individual playing time, I would think they would speak with you on the movement of players down to JV and why they are currently doing that.

You may or may not like the answer to the question; but you would know their thought process and how the decisions are made.

The JV coach is in a tough spot. With 16 players, it is hard enough in baseball to get players into games. If he is sent 6 players on game day to fill 6 spots, there is little he can do to make that work within his original group.

It is still early in your son's high school career, and things can change. You never know what is going to happen, or how it will develop.

Sounds like he loves the game. While currently it is not an ideal situation, keep working and improving and see where it leads. He still has his summer and fall teams coming up. He should be benefitting from the work and instruction in practice.

One thing for certain, if he walks away from it now, he will fall behind his competition in a hurry.

I would be interested in hearing how this goes as you move forward. How does your son feel about his situation?

Yours in baseball,

Rick




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