Originally Posted by Jaws31
Very little forethought went into this whole thing it seems. It should have been run no differently than high school. If not districts then at least regions to qualify to states. Divisions should of been a must. The way this is set up 90% of jh athletes wont even have the opportunity to qualify.
I don't believe we currently collect the enrollment data in each middle school to be able to group them and assign to divisions accordingly. It would be completely unfair to group the middle school according to the division of the high school. Some high schools are fed by one middle school and some are fed by many. In some cases middle schools that feed Div I high schools are the same size as middle schools that feed smaller DII high schools.
My gut says this whole thing is not ultimately in the best interest of the sport.
A Michigan State University study asked boys and girls aged 10 to 12 why they played sports. Here are the top five reasons they gave:
1. To have fun.
2. To do something I’m good at.
3. To improve my skills.
4. To stay in shape.
5. To get exercise.
Surprise; “winning” didn’t even make the top ten reasons.
Study after study comes up with the same #1 result. Kids play sports for the fun of it.
And not having fun is one of the major reasons 70 percent of kids quit playing sports by the time they’re 13.
Most often it’s parents and coaches who want to win. Kids hardly care. For them, winning is just icing on the cake. They’re focused on simpler things.
I'm pretty firmly in the camp that middle school is an excellent time for kids to explore many sports, or events within sports like track and field. I think there's plenty of research to show that the broader the base of athletic experiences the higher the typical achievement in whatever sport an athlete eventually chooses to focus on in college/high school.
Specializing to achieve extreme performances at young ages isn't in the long term interest of even the best athletes and the over-emphasis on achievement at early ages only serves as a deterrent to late bloomers.
It wouldn't bother me in the least to see this effort die on the vine.