Should US high schools drop sports?

Straight up, what are your thoughts on this issue?

Do HS sports take up to many resources?

Do the sports people (teachers as coaches, student athletes) dominate the school too much?

Would High schools be better off if sports were relegated to community and private groups (this is already happening with many sports like basketball, tennis, soccer, hockey, and baseball and some programs like All American Soccer tells players to NOT play for their school)?

What do you all think?

No. Sports are great for kids’ fitness, discipline, self esteem, team work and social skills, and much more.

Communities may not have facilities or the available facilities are poor quality or not fully suitable, the programs often depend on fees paid by the players which can leave out some of the kids. There’s also the fact that coaching quality can be spotty.
Example: Little League only requires a background check, no experience needed.

Sports are OK, but some places really take it too far. Didn’t some high school in Texas have a 40,000-seat stadium?

I don’t remember seating capacity but there are several that cost 60 million +. At least one was shut down a year or two later due to shoddy construction resulting in dangerous conditions.

School sports should be recreational only: Whoever shows up gets to play. Create as many random squads as needed to accommodate numbers.

High schools should have sports, but not make a big deal out of them. Admission should be free, players should not get a pass from academics and local press coverage should be discouraged.
My model, at the college level, would be MIT and the University of Chicago, which have sports but no scholarships. The school runs sports, not the other way around.

Community sports programs should be able to use high school facilities but as a separate function, not supported by taxes meant for education of the mind.

At least where I coach, football/basketball revenue pays for much of the cost of the programs. Snack bar revenue helps support many of the other sports. Local booster clubs plus school budgets fills in the rest.
The fact is, at minimum, there’s uniforms every few years and transportation costs to get to games/meets.

A few months ago, Stanford announced that it was cancelling eleven sports out of 36 (men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and wrestling). This is one of the richest universities in America, nationally competitive in many sports and many Olympic medal winners. If even they find it too expensive to field competitive teams, is it any wonder that some high schools also have trouble affording it?

Other than wrestling(surprising, that one), the others strike me as highly specialized in terms of actual participants. They don’t strike me as sports that have a large high school base to feed colleges from and possibly Stanford doesn’t attract their share of the small pool.

Of course, there should also be sports covered during PE classes. I also think schools should put sports back into the student clubs they used to be and quit glorifying school sports stars. Make it a requirment that every club member play in each game and you will do a lot more for getting kids interested in sports than the current situation which is little more than turning the school into an unpaid training feeder for professional sports.

High schools should clearly have sports. Physical fitness is of lifelong importance to health and it is more important to properly teach it than ever before. Sports are important socially long beyond school. All should participate with others at an equal level with some choice offered. Phys Ed. should probably be marked only for effort and attendance and bullying by teachers or students should not be acceptable.

As for small communities taking sports too seriously - that’s their choice. I don’t find watching sports at this level entertaining. With society becoming more sedentary, funding sports for everyone is a no-brainer given the considerable benefits of teamwork, fitness, social skills and physical traits including strength, flexibility, endurance, healthy habits and physical skills.

I never thought sports had a damn thing to do with school and education. I don’t mean that being in decent physical shape isn’t a good thing. Just that it’s not what schools are focused on.

I think you’re asking some good questions.

What purposes do sports serve? Do sports teach students skills that they will be able to use later in life? Would the time students spend on sports be better spend on other more academic activities?

Do sports benefit the entire student body or just the athletes who participate? Are schools diverting too many resources into sports programs that only benefit a small fraction of the student body?

What about the injuries student athletes experience?

I haven’t delved deep into this subject so I can’t claim to be an authority on the issue. But my personal feeling is that our school sports programs are a bad idea. I feel they’re being run more for the prestige of the school and the community than for any benefits the students who participate in them receive. And I feel that they consume a disproportionate amount of resources from school budgets which are not justified by any benefits they’re producing. I feel schools would be better if they focused on education and sports were run as outside activities that were separate from the school system.

Physical fitness is one thing; sports are another. As someone with little to no eye/hand coordination who was always the last chosen for any team in any sport whatsoever, I am happy not to participate in team sports. But even I recognize that being physically fit is a good thing.

Do high schools sports actually do anything about establishing good lifetime habits? Most student athletes are in good physical shape while they’re playing. But as soon as they graduate they stop playing organized sports.

If the goal is to teach students to have good physical fitness habits, schools should focus on teaching them the kinds of activities they can do on their own, not the kind of physical fitness they get from being on a team with coaches supervising their exercising.

Physical fitness is not the same as sports. But there is a correlation. I think sports are important in their own right for teaching skills, teamwork, rules and social acumen. But there should probably be more choice of what sports you might want to try, less judgement, only friendly competition and less lionization of the athletically gifted. Most private schools in Canada force all kids to play on one school team. I went to public school but agree with this philosophy regardless of talent.

I would argue schools don’t do enough to teach the lifelong importance of good physical habits. This includes nutrition, individual sports (like lifting weights, tennis, golf running), and team sports (like soccer or ball games). In Canada, intramural, low stakes team sports are popular in college, at many workplaces and remain important socially.

With no school sports, what would happen to sports? I suppose they would become something to watch on TV. How would people learn to love to swim, to run, to play tennis? In my US hometown, high school football is a ritual. It binds the community together.

If you were insanely rich, you would send your children to a school that included sports. Public schools do that for the rest of us.