This past season numerous girls JV basketball games have been cut down to two quarters in length and some have even been cancelled. Several Mercer County girls basketball coaches gave us answers to our questions on why this is taking place.
Ft. Recovery one of the top girls basketball programs in the county, now they will only play 2 quarter JV games for rest of the season. The Indians only have 13 healthy roster players and when one player broke her hand the choice was made to play only 2 quarters of JV. There has been times when no JV game was played before the varsity game.
Numbers for the future could be a problem as well, the Indians do not have freshmen team this season, in the lower grades the 7th grade has thirteen players and the 8th grade has just nine players.
Ft. Recovery Head Coach Brian Patch sees numerous issues causing the current situation:
Numerous reasons. Season too long compared to volleyball, sport requires too much running versus volleyball, club volleyball, kids are getting lazy and entitled compared to the past, parents aren’t as supportive as they used to be to push their kids, everyone wants to be the star and if they can’t start or play a lot then they won’t play, in basketball you have to be good at multiple things to be a good player versus volleyball you can play half the game being just good at one thing such as digging a ball, in basketball you have to work hard during the game because of the sport. CYO still plays basketball mess around and drinking is involved- a major problem in Mercer County.
I see this as being a major problem and its occurring everywhere. Numbers are dropping. Example last year we won the 6th most games in our program history which has included 3 state appearances. We had 5 kids quit off our jv and varsity team. Those kids played for a winning program, played a lot of minutes as we only had 13 kids last year and played a full JV schedule and games. Our administration asked them if coaches were the problem and they said no we love them. This is a huge problem and any thing you can do to write about it to address it with OHSAA, parents, school personnel would be appreciated by all coaches. I lost a paid varsity assistant because our numerous dropped below 24 kids. In 9 games we have not played a team with 24 kids. Yet my coach puts in the same amount hours and shows up to help run our youth programs to build numbers for our future. I have very strong feelings on this topic and love to see it get address.
Marion Local, another very successful program, has played a few JV games for 2 quarters due to opponents having low roster numbers.
Looking at the Flyers overall program they will play 6 to 7 freshman games and numbers on the 7th and 8th grade teams are both at eleven.
Head Coach Barb Streib talks about the situation:
Numbers seem to be low in a lot of schools. Kids are just different these days and either focus on one sport or don’t want to put the time in.
Success usually seems to help, trying to find a balance between working hard and pushing them while also making it fun can be a challenge.
At Parkway they have only played one JV game where the Panthers requested to play only 2 quarters, this was due to four girls being out (3 due to injury) which left only 12 healthy players. Three JV games opponents have requested to play 2 quarters of JV, one school did not have a JV team.
First year Panther Head Coach Linda Hawk:
I’m hoping I don’t have to do this again due to girls being out due to injury.
Hawk went on to talk about the program down the road:
Depending if all 8th graders play next year, we may have a freshman team. Early estimates are 23 girls. This could change by the time next season starts.
Only losing one senior this year and we have a descent size 8th grade class coming up. At this point, I don’t have concerns that we may not be able to field a JV team.
Celina Head Coach Steve Bader:
We have a JV team but our numbers are down. With only 15 girls in the varsity and JV program and no freshman team because they are playing JV. We have to play 2 quarter JV games because of injury and sickness. Club volleyball and club soccer have killed basketball for girls. AAU is about making money no matter what sport you play. No one wants to work on fundamentals and parents are getting caught up with AAU and spending money. Parents want to coach their kids and ruin it for other kids as well. Parents try to highlight their kid and focus on Major DI scholarships. No one wants to coach anymore because parents make it miserable for coaches to coach. I do not have an answer to get this matter fixed. I see why Celina basketball is a girl’s third sport of choice. Volleyball and soccer have been good here for past 5 to 8 years, so as a player they are going to go to the winning programs.
In November of 2014 in an OHSAA newsletter ‘Rebounders Report’ on 2 Quarter games in basketball:
There is a general perceived trend of lower numbers in high school basketball, especially on the girls’ side. Many inquire about playing “2 Quarter JV Games”. But…rules require a game to be how long? 4 quarters of course. That means, a game MUST be 4 quarters in length. So, no 2 quarter games could be permitted by NFHS Playing Rules. But before I close this section….there is also an NFHS Rule that says “by mutual agreement of coaches and officials, a game may end at any time”.
The situation is something that school administration, coaches, parents and student-athletes need to keep an eye on for the future. The atmosphere is no longer that of the 1950’s where you played for the pride of the school and the community. The focus in 2017, especially at the National level, has changed to what is best for the individual and not the team concept.