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  #1  
Old 12-03-17, 12:50 AM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Promoting Girls Basketball?

I was at a girls youth basketball game today and was talking with several parents from different communities. This league is a community based all-star 3rd through 6th grade teams. There was alot of discussion about why girls basketball seems to be on hard times right now. They talked of way too many girls leaving the sport, especially for volleyball, soccer, and softball.

So my question is, what can be done to turn this around? I know that this forum isn't necessarily representative of the overall sports picture in Ohio, but I feel it's pretty accurate when it comes to girls basketball. This was at one time a very popular board. Right up there with wrestling and boys basketball. Now it's a fraction the size of those boards on here.

Any suggestions for improving girls basketball in general (not specifically to this board)? How can we open up girls basketball to more people?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-17, 01:44 PM
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I suspect a shift in popularity of volleyball, soccer, and softball over basketball is a suburban thing. I don't think urban communities have seen such a shift. Another factor could be the belief that there are greater scholarship opportunities in the other sports, especially soccer and softball.
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Old 12-03-17, 01:52 PM
NEOsportsfan09 NEOsportsfan09 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just a fan View Post
I suspect a shift in popularity of volleyball, soccer, and softball over basketball is a suburban thing. I don't think urban communities have seen such a shift. Another factor could be the belief that there are greater scholarship opportunities in the other sports, especially soccer and softball.
There's a factor too where in softball and volleyball, parents believe that they aren't as "physical" and less risk of injury than basketball. So I see parents pushing their kids to specialize in those sports.

The irony is I believe that there is more talent in girls basketball in the state of Ohio now than there has ever been. There's just not as many participating in the sport. I know a lot of programs having a hard time getting enough kids for even JV teams, that never had a problem with getting JV teams in the past.
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Old 12-03-17, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NEOsportsfan09 View Post
There's a factor too where in softball and volleyball, parents believe that they aren't as "physical" and less risk of injury than basketball. So I see parents pushing their kids to specialize in those sports.

The irony is I believe that there is more talent in girls basketball in the state of Ohio now than there has ever been. There's just not as many participating in the sport. I know a lot of programs having a hard time getting enough kids for even JV teams, that never had a problem with getting JV teams in the past.
I was surprised a few years back when some schools stopped fielding freshmen teams. Now its getting to the point that JV teams can be a struggle.

I sometimes wonder if the kids specializing are the ones that actually push all the others away. If you take two equal girls and one specializes, she's going to outperform the other. Does the second girl feel inferior and give up basketball?
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Old 12-03-17, 11:19 PM
Kballer Kballer is offline
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All of the above- year round club soccer and volleyball are the biggest factor. I also think that the coaches expectations for off season training and volunteering at some schools is out of control and is too big of a time commitment for all but the most dedicated. It is a shame as some kids may start to shine after freshman year but don't make it that far.

Great point yappi about 2 equal girls- My daughter played AAU but stopped stopped after her freshman year because she wasn't aiming at playing in college and started another sport that she loved in the spring. Because of her height (and her off season training) she was able to still start for her team but I wonder if she had been 5'5 if that would have happened. Funny thing is now my daughter is playing in college- without playing AAU. A coach saw her on film that was sent to her by someone else! How's that for luck? Her high school is not fielding a JV this year due to numbers- very sad.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:32 AM
Mr. Lincoln Mr. Lincoln is offline
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Originally Posted by Kballer View Post
All of the above- year round club soccer and volleyball are the biggest factor. I also think that the coaches expectations for off season training and volunteering at some schools is out of control and is too big of a time commitment for all but the most dedicated.
I believe this is the biggest factor, particularly "June". June is the middle of summer softball and also only 2 months from volleyball season. Yet, in Ohio, June is basketball season for HS players if a players hopes to be a significant part of their team in November/December. Plus basketball season stretches into the JO volleyball season making it extremely difficult for girls that play volleyball/soccer, basketball, and softball to do all 3 if they desire to play all 3 at a high level of skill. The one that interferes the most seems to be basketball so likely becomes the first one dropped.
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Old 12-04-17, 02:16 PM
BobRoss BobRoss is offline
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AAU killed the sport. It forced the year round dedication and later OHSAA forcing a June period on the high school teams. Now you are really forced to be a one sport athlete. Add into that the AAU parasites and most girls are just not interested.
The days of a girl playing volleyball then basketball then softball/track are over, its dedicate or perish.
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Old 12-05-17, 02:35 PM
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The decline in participation is a multi-headed monster and it is not only affecting the players. Many, many great coaches have left the game due to the year around commitment requirement and unrealistic parents who have had their heads filled by some external influence about how great their kid can play. Maybe for some it is that the game is so physical, but that is only a kid here or there. We have a local guy/AAU coach who at his highest peak was a JV girls high school coach. This guy who claims to be promoting girls basketball and all the scholarships is driving a wedge between many parents and the high school coaches. Classic over-hype to the point where I know of several players no longer participating because of no verbal offer by the sophomore or junior year. And this joker told them they were the greatest..keep an eye on them college coaches...player of the year candidate...not getting enough minutes on the high school team. How is this promoting anything expect a fight between the parents and schools...and the kids feeling like a failure because no offers come rolling in. Keep in mind the one things that still stands...only 2% of high school athletes will play college sports. In basketball the high school coach still plays a role in the recruiting process even if just as a reference and there isn't an AAU coach that can do anything about that. Be humble, play hard while you can and keep up your grades. If you want to play in college great! That is a good goal, but it is NOT the reason you play!! You play because you love it.
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Old 12-07-17, 10:25 AM
El Indio El Indio is offline
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Or it could be that the teams now winning have few fans on here. When Alter was winning, the board was on fire. Now that they are in rebuilding mode, crickets.

I think fanbase has a lot to do with it.
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  #10  
Old 12-07-17, 01:54 PM
multisportdad multisportdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
I was at a girls youth basketball game today and was talking with several parents from different communities. This league is a community based all-star 3rd through 6th grade teams. There was alot of discussion about why girls basketball seems to be on hard times right now. They talked of way too many girls leaving the sport, especially for volleyball, soccer, and softball.

So my question is, what can be done to turn this around? I know that this forum isn't necessarily representative of the overall sports picture in Ohio, but I feel it's pretty accurate when it comes to girls basketball. This was at one time a very popular board. Right up there with wrestling and boys basketball. Now it's a fraction the size of those boards on here.

Any suggestions for improving girls basketball in general (not specifically to this board)? How can we open up girls basketball to more people?
What does the bold above mean? anyone who signs up gets to play? players are 'selected'? depending on the answer, part of the issue may lie there.
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  #11  
Old 12-07-17, 02:37 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Originally Posted by multisportdad View Post
What does the bold above mean? anyone who signs up gets to play? players are 'selected'? depending on the answer, part of the issue may lie there.
Travel teams based on the community they live in. These are Summit, Stark, Portage, and Medina County travel teams from communities like Wadsworth, Tallmadge, Kent, Stow, North Canton, etc. And yes, players are selected based on each community's method of team selection.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-17, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by El Indio View Post
Or it could be that the teams now winning have few fans on here. When Alter was winning, the board was on fire. Now that they are in rebuilding mode, crickets.

I think fanbase has a lot to do with it.
This thread doesn't really have much to do with this site, instead, it's the overall health of the sport in Ohio. The trend for participation and attendance in OHSAA sports is on the decline but it seems like girls basketball is in the most critical decline.

The OHSAA has been putting out memos the last few years about declining attendance and its effect on the member schools.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-17, 03:02 PM
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Could part of the issue be the demand for year round activities in girls hoops (summer tournaments, open gyms) has caused the HS coaches to shift attention to that stuff and taken it away from overseeing what's happening in their jr. high system to ensure that the JH coaches are doing what is needed to keep girls interested in playing?

My school hasn't fielded a freshman team for about a decade and isn't fielding a JV team this year for the 1st time ever. Only 3 freshmen came out this year which tells me that the right things aren't happening in our junior high feeder system. It's arguably the most successful girls sport at the school with 15 district final appearances, 8 district titles (most recent one was 2 years ago), and 1 state runner-up, so it's not like the program is a loser.

Another question is: how many girls still want to compete or want "contact?" Basketball is a competition sport but is also viewed by girls as a "contact" sport. Volleyball is viewed as competition but not "contact," so it has more than enough girls to fielded varsity, JV, and freshman teams at my school. Our volleyball team never won anything before this year's district title. Equally bizarre at my school is that girls tennis and cross country numbers are up while soccer numbers are down (no JV soccer team this past fall). Again, soccer is "contact" while the other 2 aren't. Soccer is viewed more as a competition sport than the other 2. The other major winter options for girls at my school are swimming which is viewed by many of the kids as a participation sport rather than a competition sport, and is definitely not a "contact" sport. The girls swimming team's numbers are far from small. I don't know what bowling's numbers are like this winter. In the spring, softball struggles to field a team while girls track and field has more than enough. Neither is a "contact" sport, but one is a competition sport while the other is more of a participation sport. Could girls be steering away from basketball and soccer because they view those sports as a head or knee injury waiting to happen?

Last edited by Mr. Slippery; 12-08-17 at 11:32 AM. Reason: brushed up on some details
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Old 12-07-17, 03:58 PM
multisportdad multisportdad is offline
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Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
Travel teams based on the community they live in. These are Summit, Stark, Portage, and Medina County travel teams from communities like Wadsworth, Tallmadge, Kent, Stow, North Canton, etc. And yes, players are selected based on each community's method of team selection.
Are there girls in those communities that have no where else to play if they aren't selected?

I also think pay to play is a factor. Some girls don't have the talent level to play as much as the other girls (just a fact of life), but in the past that was ok, because they could participate and all it cost was their time. Now, though, with the financial costs involved, it becomes a more difficult decision to determine if not playing most of the time is worth the investment.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:41 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Originally Posted by multisportdad View Post
Are there girls in those communities that have no where else to play if they aren't selected?

I also think pay to play is a factor. Some girls don't have the talent level to play as much as the other girls (just a fact of life), but in the past that was ok, because they could participate and all it cost was their time. Now, though, with the financial costs involved, it becomes a more difficult decision to determine if not playing most of the time is worth the investment.
For most of them, I really don't know. Of the communities that I do know, they have a rec league and a travel team for their better players.

One thing that I've seen for both boys and girls teams in the past, when an age group had a solid travel team, fewer kids tried out when they got to middle school teams. When there was no travel team or the travel team was very weak, alot more kids tried out. I always attributed this to "self-cutting" where kids felt like they didn't belong with the travel ball players. I know of one example from 7th grade boys this year that just happened. The boy is better than half the players but felt intimidated to tryout against them because they came in knowing each other on the court.
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Old 12-08-17, 08:26 AM
TriangleMan TriangleMan is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
Another question is: how many girls still want to compete or want "contact?" Basketball is a competition sport but is also viewed by girls as a "contact" sport. Volleyball is viewed as competition but not "contact," so it has more than enough girls to fielded varsity, JV, and freshman teams at my school. Our volleyball team never won anything before this year's district title. Equally bizarre at my school is that girls tennis and cross country numbers are up while soccer numbers are down (no JV soccer team this past fall). Again, soccer is "contact" while the other 2 aren't. Soccer is viewed more as a competition sport than the other 2. The other major winter option for girls at my school are swimming which is viewed by many of the kids as a participation sport rather than a competition sport, and is definitely not a "contact" sport. The girls swimming team's numbers are far from small. I don't know what bowling's numbers are like this winter. In the spring, softball struggles to field a team while girls track and field has more than enough. Neither is a "contact" sport, but one is a competition sport while the other is more of a participation sport. Could girls be steering away from basketball and soccer because they view those sports as a head or knee injury waiting to happen?
Just some numbers for you Slip, taken from the winter program:

Girls Basketball (11) - (3) Seniors, (3) Juniors, (2) Sophomores, (3) Freshmen

Swimming - Girls (18), Boys (9)
Bowling - Girls (7), Boys (17)
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  #17  
Old 12-08-17, 04:33 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Originally Posted by TriangleMan View Post
Just some numbers for you Slip, taken from the winter program:

Girls Basketball (11) - (3) Seniors, (3) Juniors, (2) Sophomores, (3) Freshmen
That is truly amazing. The 3 Seniors I can understand because of attrition but the other levels really don't make sense.
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Old 12-08-17, 06:19 PM
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That is truly amazing. The 3 Seniors I can understand because of attrition but the other levels really don't make sense.
After reading TriangleMan's post regarding participation numbers in the winter sports, it would seem that the numbers are more in line with the school's decreasing enrollment. It makes me wonder how the school's female enrollment is able to continue supporting 7 activities in the fall: soccer, tennis (enough for V & JV), golf, volleyball (enough for V, JV, & F), cross country (enough for V & JV), cheer, and band. Granted, there is some sharing going on in tennis, cross country, cheer, and band.

Back to basketball, there were 15 kids out last year which was just enough to eke out a V and JV schedule. The class-by-class breakdown was: 3 seniors, 3 juniors, 5 sophomores (1 did not come back out, and 1 who started some games transferred after the school year), and 4 freshmen (2 did not come back out this year. 1 of the 2 got playing time in the tournament last year).

I have no idea what participation is like at the junior high level, but I'll wager that the lack of a freshman team is a major obstacle in that it discourages some of the more marginally talented freshmen from coming out because they don't want to have to play against sophomores and juniors right away. The same thing happens in football at smaller schools where some would play if there was a freshman team, but they (and their parents) don't want to be facing older kids at the JV or varsity level just yet. Unfortunately in girls hoops, the problem is so widespread that even if a freshman team could suddenly be fielded, there are so few other freshman teams nearby to create much of a schedule. It appears that only 3 schools in Stark County are fielding freshman teams this year: Hoover, Jackson, and McKinley.

Last edited by Mr. Slippery; 12-08-17 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 12-08-17, 06:32 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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I think another problem that I've seen in some sports is that freshmen team players rarely move on to play varsity later on in their career. There is always attrition and the more talented players in some sports skip freshmen sports completely and move on to JV or Varsity.

Because of this, I think some coaches think the freshmen teams are a waste of time. They don't want to make the big effort of finding a coach, setting up schedules, recruiting the halls to fill out a team, getting uniforms, and sharing gym time. Again, this is not specific to girls basketball.
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Old 12-09-17, 08:49 PM
Kballer Kballer is offline
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This is the first year in a long time that I don't have a high school basketball player and I will say I miss it but it is a grind on our schedule compared to other sports. The season lasts through 4-5 months including major holiday breaks and semester exams. Compare that to fall and spring sports which are usually more compact time wise plus missing out on a family time and winter training for other sports and it loses appeal for some.
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