By Hoops

I'm back ! Hoops was lucky enough to be able to take a winter vacation somewhere warm. I definitely picked the right time to be away. Upon my return, it appears that my newest topic for discussion has already been chosen for me. For some unknown reason, I was forwarded a number of emails discussing the fact that the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) has decided not to compile any rankings for Junior Varsity teams this year. It appears that a number of people, coaches and fans, are unhappy about this development. I decided that I would weigh in on this topic.

On the one hand, I understand that such rankings do generate interest and are one of the few things that the local print media might actually publish. They create discussion and do assist tournament organizers in the formation of more competitive draws.  However, I also believe that there is already too much emphasis placed on competition (i.e. games) at the younger levels. Are game results and rankings that important for kids 14-15 years of age ? Is the call for rankings just another example of adult values being placed on youth sport ? Don't we already have enough of that ?

In my admittedly limited knowledge of the principles involved in Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), a philosophy which is now the basis of all sport in Canada, even hosting a provincial championship at the JV level is not compatible. Is the MHSAA trying to send a message to us all ?

One way or the other, it probably would be helpful if those at the MHSAA stated their reasons for this change. And, ultimately, rankings will be published later in February and there will be a provincial championship tournament played in March.

Sometimes, I wish that we got more excited about important things in the game of basketball, improved coaching and officiating, less competition or fewer games, and more training or practices, among others.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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