Change of format

ANOTHER CHANGE: The Central State Activities Association has changed the format of the boys and girls basketball season once again. (Pioneer file photo)

CSAA to change basketball scheduling once again

BIG RAPIDS — Another season, another change.

That is what is in store for the Central State Activities Association basketball players and coaches this winter with the implementation of a new scheduling format.

CSAA athletic directors voted for boys basketball to be played Mondays and Thursdays, while the girls will play Tuesdays and Fridays. It is the hope that next season, the two genders will switch nights.

It is yet another change to the format that has not remained the same for two successive years in the past five years.

“The biggest thing is this will allow our (varsity) coaches to be more program-oriented,” Reed City Athletic Director Monty Price said. “Last year, the junior varsity played and the varsity was practicing and with limited gym space, varsity coaches don’t always get a chance to visit practices or see games. I think this helps coaches be more program-oriented and help the lower levels.”

A year ago, the boys and girls played on the same night, with the girls playing first the entire season and the boys contest following. This year, the two genders were supposed to switch, with the boys going first.

Because that format was scrapped, the girls were given the premium Friday night this

season.

“We thought be going to a new format, we would reward the girls with the Friday night game,” Price said.

The new format wasn’t endorsed by everyone, including those at Big Rapids. Boys basketball coach Kent Ingles, girls basketball coach Jessica Haist and athletic director Nick Scheible all voted against the proposal.

“More than anything, it’s another year, another change,” Scheible said why he was against the proposal.

There were three or four other proposals on the table both Price and Scheible said and the one that was adopted was the one that got the most votes.

Ingles believes the new format jeopardizes things that have been built over the course of the past few years between the boys and girls programs at Big Rapids.

“I’m not thrilled because No. 1, our boys and girls have good camaraderie and this puts that in jeopardy,” he said. “When one is playing, the other is practicing. Second, if you are the average basketball fan and have the choice, with the economy as it is, there are going to be people at home games and nobody at away games. People will have to choose between the two.”

One of the proposals Ingles liked involved boys and girls playing together on Tuesdays and a single night, more than likely Thursday and Friday, the rest of the week.

“What we are going to now, it forces you to have Sunday practices and Sundays are still sacred,” Ingles said. “It could be for family time, it can be to get caught up on the books, it doesn’t matter, it’s sacred.”

The Sunday issue did come to light during the proceedings, Price said.

It will be something that is looked at after the season, he added.

“That is one of our biggest concerns because we know it is not going to be convenient for everyone,” Price said.

After discussion on each of the proposals, the new format was chosen.

“I thought the old format was functional, but we listened to the boys and girls coaches after their league meeting and this is the one proposal that had the most support and felt was the best interest to make the change,” Price said.

Now the hope is the new format will stick for longer than a single season.

“We are trying to find the best scenario that meets everyone’s needs,” Scheible said. “I don’t know if there is a perfect situation.”

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