Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Joplin R-8 Board to vote on proposal to combine middle school basketball teams

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education is expected to vote on a proposal to combine East, North, and South middle school basketball teams beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

The proposal, which is included with documentation provided for the 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, meeting at the Memorial Administration Building, calls for the following:

*Three teams, A, B, and C, would be fielded with each including 10 players.

*The current intramural program would be expanded from eighth graders to seventh and eighth grade girls.

*The focus of the intramural program will be skill development.

The following passages are taken from the supporting documents provided to the board:

"It should be noted that combining our middle school athletic teams into one Joplin team has been discussed by several of our coaches in the past. With our upcoming conference realignment at the high school and middle school level, we will most likely be required to also change our middle school conference affiliation beginning in 2018."

"It is our goal to help student athletes be better prepared for interscholastic athletics by competing for Joplin (together) at an earlier age. We are also focused on the overall retention of our student athletes by including a skills-based expanded intramural program that will offer all student athletes interested in participating an opportunity to improve their skills at school. Students participating on the interscholastic team will be transported to the practice site."

A fiscal note on the proposal says it will save the R-8 District $1,693.24 during the 2017-2018 school year.

The proposal was prepared by athletic directors Jeff Starkweather and and Matt Hiatt and reviewed by Superintendent Melinda Moss and Assistant Superintendent for Operations Kerry Sachetta.


Anonymous said...

Easier answer: get better athletes out there.

Anonymous said...

@4:19 This is the first step in doing that. I totally support this proposal for ALL sports, not just basketball. "Everybody plays" time, ended in Little League.

Anonymous said...

What this comes down to is the desires of a select few (coaches/parents) to win a couple more games at the expense of providing opportunities to middle school students. We are talking about middle school students - not elite professional athletes who have to win to keep their jobs, not college-level players who have to win to keep their scholarships.
Do you really think a player is going to be proud to play on the "C" team or the intramural team (I guess you could call that the "D" team)? Not at all. Plus, what schools around here even have "C" teams for Joplin to play? The "intramural program" would indicate that each Joplin middle school would field a team, which sounds like more than hopeful thinking. There will be some that argue kids will want to work their way up from the "C" or intramural teams. Don't kid yourself. There is enough stigma attached to being on the "B" team and fighting to be on the "A" team. Each middle school needs to field an "A" and a "B" team and figure out why they are having problems retaining players. It has not always been this way. Has complacency just been the norm?
The current sorry situation is a top-down problem and it is being addressed from the bottom-up. What does the athletic director do to help the coaches with recruiting and training? What steps do the coaches take to recruit? Maybe administrator/coaching changes need to be made?
That small, uncoordinated middle school student who lost his or her opportunity to play could have been the high school star.

Anonymous said...

Please vote this down. This is so pathetic. Nobody will care if you win an 8th grade championship, trust me on this one. I played on an undefeated 8th grade team back in the day and this is the first time I recall ever talking about it since, well, the 8th grade! 3 schools, 3 teams. The athletes will have plenty of time to sort out the Varsity in a few years. Leave this alone, it will only turn more kids away from participating. I suspect turning kids away is the goal of some parents, don't let it happen.

Anonymous said...

Reducing opportunities for kids at that age is a bad idea. And it seems strange that it would be done after the School District has put so much into the facilities over the past few years (including two brand new middle schools)

Anonymous said...

If the expensive new facilities are no longer used by the schools, then they will be available for rent to the various religious organizations to use, and probably at bargain basement prices.

If there are not enough athletic programs offered to the students, the jeebus whisperers will fill that void.

Unknown said...

They're not the NFL in 8th grade. Give more of them( from all 3 schools ) a chance to party

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