Letter to the Editor: Scheduling decisions jeopardize soccer players' health
TO THE EDITOR:
Over playing soccer games is a major issue for youth athletes' health. Coaches, athletic directors, and club coaches should all know better than to schedule five straight games! The NCYSA made a rule about not tieing games this season, but has failed miserably on making a rule to limit play on back-to-back nights. The NCYSA is also at fault for their play time during tournaments. I have had my kid, at age 17, play five games in a weekend and two or three game in a single day without reducing the play time from 45 minutes to maybe 30 minutes.
Soccer is not a money sport now but it continues to grow. The stands were pretty full when North Iredell and South Iredell played a few weeks ago. So this is changing. Many of the kids from our area are getting scholarships too.
I get really annoyed by the way football dominates everything sports in high school. For instance, we had a soccer game scheduled for a Friday night. The football coaches or athletic directors decided that we should move this game to a Tuesday after a game with South Iredell, which could determine the conference championship. So North Iredell will have to play on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The NCHSAA needs to stop this. Last week the Raiders had three games back to back as well. With two major hurricanes hitting our area in less than a month, the regular season should have simply been extended another week.
Let me put this in perspective: Football is a 15-minute game of action spread out for two hours with pads, but soccer is an 80-minute game of constant running, jumping and contact. The athletic directors would never schedule three football games on back-to-back days.
Having too many games without sufficient recovery time for growing bodies and time to do school studies, while keeping the sport athletically sound by being able to play fresh flies in the face of common sense and opens the door to total disregard for the athlete's well-being and opens up the door for discussions of ignorance for the adults who allow this nonsense to keep happening.
Another issue on the boys side is the season for high school soccer. Most other state associations play boys soccer in the spring. Because our guys have fall soccer it really hurts the ability for our kids to play fresh and stay healthy. I would propose a change to play boys soccer in the spring so North Carolina can bring home the championships our boys teams deserve.