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Are high school sports overregulated?

December 18, 2013

If you assumed that football is the most dangerous sport in high school, you’d be correct. However, you’d never guess that cheerleading is second.

It’s well known that injuries are common occurrences in sports. With high risks in games, it’s not surprising that excess safety regulations are implemented. Eventually, these regulations don’t simply protect the player’s health. Rules are becoming more like bubble wrap; protection from everything. Safety is now a game changer.

As school sports become heavily regulated, sport benefits are not being considered. Regulations make it difficult to enjoy sports. Going to the gym on a day off, or practicing on Sunday, has become impossible.

Often, sports are primary for students. Sports keep students out of trouble, motivate them to do well in class, be more active and encourage attendance.

Participation in sports is an opportunity for kids to be part of something larger, an opportunity to represent the community. In high school, a sports team becomes like a family, providing players with friendship and support. Having the team there to pick you up can be life altering. Teamwork allows students to find their situational roles, whether they are leaders or supporting members. Either way, team involvement increases social skills, cooperation and patience.

Obviously, high school sports improve physical fitness. A player’s skill at a sport can earn a college scholarship. It may be less obvious that sports improve academics. Studies show that “students who were active in sports like soccer, football and even skateboarding performed 10% better in core subjects like math, science, social studies and language arts.”(www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/433)

So if high school sports provide students with improved mental, social and physical health, why are sports limited? Why isn’t it okay to play Sundays, or work out before school? High school sports shouldn’t be destroyed by regulations.

Jessica Schips
Barryville, NY