When Seasons Matter
April 6, 2018
There are people who want to fuss with Michigan High School Athletic Association tournament structures because, they say, they “want the regular season to mean something.” We need to guard against that thinking and such talk.
In school sports done right, the regular season always means something, even for a team which loses every game.
In school sports done right, practice means even more, because coaches and athletes interact in practice far more than games.
People who want to provide tournament postseason perks to teams which win more games than others are likely to reward the wrong things, like the teams that gathered transfers from other schools.
They are likely to miss the right things, like the teams that started slowly but improved over a truly meaningful season of practices and contests.
They are likely to miss the fact that some teams lost key players due to ineligibility or injury or gained them late in a season and where, in either case, team records are not a meaningful measure of the season.
Let’s not be fooled. Let’s not be trapped in the mindset of sport models that are more about business than education.
Gerrymandering postseason tournaments does more to undermine the integrity of the postseason than honor the regular season.