By Seth Morrison
It’s spring again, and this time of year offers a lot of changes. Studying for finals, enjoying the warmer weather, and entering the home stretch of the school year are just a few. Another thing it brings is yet another round of school sports for students to participate in. Sports range from lacrosse to golf, and many have already started. However, most of these sports have something in common: they have cuts. For some, it is a necessary evil that prevents overcrowding on the team. For others, though, the practice has well overstayed its welcome and should no longer plague students athletes. It is a subject of great controversy, and neither side of the argument can be ignored.
Those who oppose cuts believe that they are too bad to be good. For one, students who are cut will be shortchanged the extra practice time that comes in playing a varsity sport. In addition to that, what could be more disheartening for a student than getting cut from a sports team, especially if he dedicated a lot of time and effort in an attempt to make the team? This is the feeling many students feel when they are subject to a similar fate; they worked so hard to make the team, but it was all for nothing because they got cut anyway. This is made even worse for those who tried out for JV sports and got cut; while people who get cut from varsity can usually just join the JV team, there is no such option for the people who get cut from JV sports. Understandably, many believe that this emotional drama is far too harsh on students who do get cut.
While it seems like cuts have no positive impact on varsity sports, they exist for a reason. The team can only have so many people on it. The maximum capacity of a team might just seem like an arbitrary number, but it is there for a reason. Take, for example, golf. If way too many people were on the team, one of two things could happen: nobody would get enough play time if any, or some players, usually the less skilled ones, would become benchwarmers; cuts in such teams are made in an attempt to better the experience of everyone. Nobody wants to get too little play time, and nobody wants to be a benchwarmer. Therefore, while harsh, cutting people from the team is meant to solve these problems.
This has been a hot topic for a long time, and there is surprisingly little middle ground in this debate. In the end, though, where would our sports teams be without cuts? While the current system is less than optimal, cuts maintain an important balance within varsity and JV sports. Without them, nobody would get enough play time due to overcrowding on the team, or the least skilled players would become benchwarmers. It is true that being cut is a terrible experience, but being a benchwarmer is just as bad, if not worse. Despite the negative effects of cuts in high school sports, they are a necessary aspect of these sports, as they maintain a roster with a good amount of players and few to no benchwarmers.