Track/Baseball

NWOHBuckeye

New member
Curious to hear how some schools would handle student athletes that want to participate in track and baseball during the same season. Do some make the kids pick one or the other? Primary/secondary?
 

Old Wildcat

Active member
That's how most schools do it. If your primary isn't participating you can go to the other. Not to many athletes do it anymore mainly because coaches frown on it. Not all coaches but many.
 
Track coach would alway try and get the fastest guys on the baseball team to do both.
He always stated that baseball was their primary and only go to meets when we didnt have games.
I always said that would be fine to do but I would also take both schedules and show the players
that they would be practicing with the track team all year to run in 1 or 2 meets.
Then I let them make their own decision on how they would spend their time.
Didn't have many make the decision to do both.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Saw a pitcher a few years ago that participated on the track team. He went to more track meets than baseball games because he was a starter. He pitched in the game that he was supposed to pitch and then went to track meets on the other days.

He was a varsity track member and only played JV in baseball. Ended up quitting baseball the next year.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Curious to hear how some schools would handle student athletes that want to participate in track and baseball during the same season. Do some make the kids pick one or the other? Primary/secondary?
2 times I can recall a kid playing both baseball and running track at my school:

The 1st case seemed rather simple, but I was probably not wise to what was happening behind the scenes. However, I never heard of anyone complaining about the arrangement: He high jumped for the track team and was primarily a relief pitcher for the baseball team. He jumped when he could, and when he was done jumping, he went to baseball. It helps that my school's baseball team traditionally plays more home games than away. IIRC, baseball didn't play quite as many games back then.

The 2nd case became hopelessly entangled over the kid's 4 years. My school had a kid play centerfield and run sprints throughout his HS career. It was not an easy situation to work out. Coaches verbally agreed to it and felt it wouldn't be a big deal saying things like, "once he earns his starting spot on the team, I don't mind if he misses some practices as a junior and senior," but it later became a case of the baseball coach saying "He's my starting CF. I gotta have him all the time," and the track coach saying "He's never at practice. It should be more of a 50-50 split." The idea of sharing an athlete's services is never going to be a 50-50 proposition. Baseball was his primary sport. His freshman year, he was a state qualifier in track. His sophomore year, he did not compete in the track postseason due to having a baseball tournament game on the same day as track prelims. His junior year, he played both sports and was a runner-up on the track and a state champion in baseball. He ran his track prelim at state and then went to play in the baseball semifinals later that afternoon and was able to do the same the next day for the finals in both sports. His senior year, some luck was involved. He ran regional prelims on Wed. He played a regional semifinal in baseball on Thurs. On Fri, he may have been forced to choose but probably would've made both since his regional final in baseball was to be played at 1pm at a site 10 miles away, and his first regional final event on the track was not until 6:12pm. He ultimately ended up placing at state in 3 events on the track. It's worth noting that he did not attend any track practices during the entire month of May of his senior year. If I had a dollar for every time I attended a track meet and had people from other schools asking me about the kid...

In the end, the 2nd situation could've been handled better. It couldn't have been a better kid involved in the situation (he's an Ivy Leaguer), but there's no doubt that his prolonged absences from the track team created resentment. I heard parents saying, "If he can skip all these practices, then I'm taking my kid on vacation during Spring Break" and the like.

It's possible to share athletes, but the school has to either outlaw it entirely or embrace it from the top down. Otherwise, you end up with a lot of kids who are committed to a single sport that feel like they're getting the shaft when another kid appears to come and go as he or she pleases. In order to make it work and spare everyone's feelings, schools need to be proactive in determining a policy and making it known as to whether or not playing multiple sports in a season is going to be acceptable and then generate a written schedule to remind all parties involved of what they agreed to.

Also, some sports naturally work better together than others. Having a soccer player kick for the football team is generally not going to create much overlap in his or her schedule. The lacrosse player who plays games during the week and on Saturdays and also wants to run track is more likely going to have several scheduling conflicts. I've seen at least 1 other school have kids compete at the district track meet after their baseball and tennis seasons had already ended the previous week. The baseball player qualified to regionals in long jump while the tennis player made regionals in high jump. The same school famously had sisters who played softball and ran track their 1st 2 years of HS. They would do their training runs after their softball games ended and generally competed in relays their freshman year.

Incidentally, my school also had a softball player who was a pitcher who expressed interest in competing in track her senior year as a jumper. She did not attend a single track practice until the 7th week of the season and practiced only 1 more time during the rest of the season. However, she competed in 4 meets and managed to take a spot away from a 4-year member of the track team which did not go over well with many people, including me.
 

fortfan

Active member
I think it would be wrong for a coach to force a kid to choose one or the other. That has to be the kids responsibility.

We've had kids try it. The last kid that tried it ended up quitting baseball.

Same with playing baseball and AAU basketball in the spring. Pretty tough to count on a kid that is only going to be there a couple games a week, but I think parents would frown on a Head Coach actually saying that.
 

Philly_Cat

Well-known member
I think it would be wrong for a coach to force a kid to choose one or the other. That has to be the kids responsibility.

We've had kids try it. The last kid that tried it ended up quitting baseball.

Same with playing baseball and AAU basketball in the spring. Pretty tough to count on a kid that is only going to be there a couple games a week, but I think parents would frown on a Head Coach actually saying that.
I disagree. If a kid can't fullfill his commitment to a team he shouldn't be able to be a part of the team. In the end he really needs to choose. Being forced to choose between sports that are in different seasons is one thing, but forcing them to choose between ones in the same season is a whole different story.
 

tribefan23

Active member
I disagree. If a kid can't fullfill his commitment to a team he shouldn't be able to be a part of the team. In the end he really needs to choose. Being forced to choose between sports that are in different seasons is one thing, but forcing them to choose between ones in the same season is a whole different story.
100% agree with this. A lot of track meets happen on Saturdays and then 1 (maybe 2) during the week. Most schools have 2-3 baseball games during the week and then 1-2 games on saturdays, then it gets crazy with weather makeups, etc. I'm not sure where this leaves time for a kid to do both. This is also a quick way to beat a kid up as well. I love multi-sport kids, but playing 2 sports during the same season just never made sense to me. This is also relying on the fact that the kid has his academics in order as well. Choose one and be the best at that one instead of trying to stretch yourself over 2 and being mediocre at both.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I disagree. If a kid can't fullfill his commitment to a team he shouldn't be able to be a part of the team. In the end he really needs to choose. Being forced to choose between sports that are in different seasons is one thing, but forcing them to choose between ones in the same season is a whole different story.
While I tend to agree with you, "i.e. you committed to being on the team, so honor your commitment," size of school can play a role in this. At smaller schools, there is more of a mentality that you have to be able to share athletes in order to produce successful teams because there simply aren't enough bodies available to provide a backup plan if a kid is not available to play. At larger schools where there is no imminent shortage of bodies, it's easier to demand a commitment to 1 sport per season when there are a couple other kids waiting in the wings trying to earn that kid's spot on the field.

The ones that drive me craziest are the ones who are more loyal to an offseason team than they are to the school's in-season team, e.g. the spring JO volleyball team, the spring AAU basketball team, or the year-round indoor soccer team. I've seen kids complain of sore legs at track practice on Mon. after spending 10 hrs. at a JO volleyball tournament on Sun. They expect it to be OK to sit out of track practice - the sport that did not cause the issue, but there's no way they're going to sit out of JO volleyball activities - the sport that caused the issue.
 

BobcatQB

Member
If the athletic dept/coaches allow it, why not? We have several kids that do both each year..my own included. Of course there are times when decisions need to be made. My kids have never had a problem handling both..baseball is first. That being said, I don't like it as a coach. We all want our kids 100% committed. Conversations/Decisions need to be addressed before the season starts so everyone knows expectations.
 

BobcatQB

Member
While I tend to agree with you, "i.e. you committed to being on the team, so honor your commitment," size of school can play a role in this. At smaller schools, there is more of a mentality that you have to be able to share athletes in order to produce successful teams because there simply aren't enough bodies available to provide a backup plan if a kid is not available to play. At larger schools where there is no imminent shortage of bodies, it's easier to demand a commitment to 1 sport per season when there are a couple other kids waiting in the wings trying to earn that kid's spot on the field.

The ones that drive me craziest are the ones who are more loyal to an offseason team than they are to the school's in-season team, e.g. the spring JO volleyball team, the spring AAU basketball team, or the year-round indoor soccer team. I've seen kids complain of sore legs at track practice on Mon. after spending 10 hrs. at a JO volleyball tournament on Sun. They expect it to be OK to sit out of track practice - the sport that did not cause the issue, but there's no way they're going to sit out of JO volleyball activities - the sport that caused the issue.


This and out of season coaches pressuring kids. Sorry but basketball is not part of our Summer routine. Don't care what anyone says, there is absolutely no way that June should have anything to do w/ HS basketball. If kids want to commit to playing basketball then I have no problem with it..to each his own. Football lifting and workouts in the morning followed by open gyms and scrimmages for basketball followed by baseball games at night...way too much for anyone! Love it when a HS basketball coach tries to tell me that Summer baseball means nothing. Uh, no it's the exact opposite. If my kid has nothing scheduled that night then he'll be there.
 

Red14

Active member
This is very popular with small schools who don't have the numbers of athletes. Many small schools don't do dual meets anymore, so most of the track season is Saturday invitationals. Alot of baseball teams have steered away from doubleheaders due to the pitch counts.

Preferably for me, I don't like it. I think it's circumventing extracurricular activities and eliminating opportunities for some kids. Never agreed with the practice of track guy Joe, who's all track, practices everyday, and then Johnny shows up on Saturdays and participates in meets because he's faster. I know why it's done, I just think it's not right in alot of situations and it pushes some kids who may not be great track athletes away. Baseball is nearly an everyday sport in the spring, I think it's important to stick with that premise. Also, imagine your stud pitcher or starting shortstop pulling a hamstring in a track meet.
 
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