Analyzing WHS policy for participation in multiple sports
The Wooster Board of Education multiple activities policy 5730 dictates the steps athletes, coaches and administrators must follow when considering multi-sport athletes.
The 2013-2014 Athletic Handbook contains the BOE policy that is comprised of five clauses, beginning with advisers and coaches having to cooperate to eliminate conflicts to allow students to participate in multiple sports.
It is also stated that “Every effort will be made in the scheduling process to eliminate gross conflicts between different activities,” and notes that athletic contests and musical performances will take
precedence over practices. According to policy 5730, students who wish to participate in multiple sports or extracurricular activities must choose a primary activity in case of conflicts that are unable to be resolved. If there are conflicts that cannot be resolved between coaches, the issues will be taken in front of the Athletic Director, whose decision will be final, according to the Athletic
WHS Principal Tyler Keener
said the flexibility allowed by the board’s policy is both good and bad.
Keener stated, “It’s very situational, with lots of variables that go into it based on the sport, the coaches and the athlete.”
The flexibility presented by the policy leaves a lot of gray
area, said Keener, and varies from sport to sport because of the ability of coaches to decide whether or not a student can participate in more than one activity.
Cleveland Clinic doctor, Denny Davis, believes that while playing multiple sports can have its benefits, it also has physical downsides.
Certain benefits of competing in multiple sports include development of skills, team building and enjoyment of participation by the athlete, stated Davis.
However, Davis also stated participating in multiple sports,
especially in the same season, can lead to overexertion, mental fatigue, burnout and time taken away from other activities, such as social time, studying, rest and recovery.
For sports that have similar mechanics, Davis expressed concern for overuse injuries, stating, “…soccer and track both require running, which could lead to stress fractures, foot and ankle problems… volleyball and softball both involve repetitive use of the dominant arm for striking and throwing, which often leads to shoulder and elbow injuries.”
Davis recommends to
athletes who wish to compete in multiple sports to allow adequate time for rest and recovery to ensure that overuse injuries do not occur, and to lightly cross train in the off season.
Willis Snyder (12) participated in football and soccer throughout his high school career, commenting that participating in both sports made him better at the other.
Snyder said his soccer background assisted in kicking techniques and flexibility, while football workouts made him stronger and allowed him to improve his soccer skill.