Girls Participation Numbers

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Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Farmrocket » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:01 pm

Anyone else notice that there seems to be more and more teams with low numbers? What are the reasons?
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:07 pm

Several teams are low on HS numbers...especially in Region 1 GBB.

What is interesting about many of these schools is that they field large numbers of VB athletes but can't retain those athletes for BB season; Is it specialization? In some cases, I think it is...but it doesn't explain all cases.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Flip » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Farmrocket wrote:Anyone else notice that there seems to be more and more teams with low numbers?
yes
What are the reasons?

Run4Fun2009 wrote:Several teams are low on HS numbers...especially in Region 1 GBB.

What is interesting about many of these schools is that they field large numbers of VB athletes but can't retain those athletes for BB season; Is it specialization? In some cases, I think it is...but it doesn't explain all cases.

An older coach once told me the change of seasons has hurt basketball numbers. After volleyball girls want some time off. I know in region 2 if you lose your play-in game you get 9 days off before basketball starts. Teams that play in the 3rd place game at regions or lose in the championship get a whopping 3 days off. I wish they could some how model it after MN. In MN all, but the teams that qualify for state, get at least 9 days off. Many teams are getting 2-3 weeks off. MN VB has the same start date and a lot more teams to eliminate too.

There is more of a chance to play in VB too. I'm guessing most teams are playing 8-9 kids a varsity match.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Run4Fun2009 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:35 pm

Flip wrote:
Farmrocket wrote:Anyone else notice that there seems to be more and more teams with low numbers?
yes
What are the reasons?

Run4Fun2009 wrote:Several teams are low on HS numbers...especially in Region 1 GBB.

What is interesting about many of these schools is that they field large numbers of VB athletes but can't retain those athletes for BB season; Is it specialization? In some cases, I think it is...but it doesn't explain all cases.

An older coach once told me the change of seasons has hurt basketball numbers. After volleyball girls want some time off. I know in region 2 if you lose your play-in game you get 9 days off before basketball starts. Teams that play in the 3rd place game at regions or lose in the championship get a whopping 3 days off. I wish they could some how model it after MN. In MN all, but the teams that qualify for state, get at least 9 days off. Many teams are getting 2-3 weeks off. MN VB has the same start date and a lot more teams to eliminate too.

There is more of a chance to play in VB too. I'm guessing most teams are playing 8-9 kids a varsity match.


I've heard the excuse of there is no running in VB and BB has lots of running...I feel this excuse is bogus...and that there are a lot of 'lazy' athletes out there.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby sportsfan111 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:26 pm

I think a big part of the problem in the town I reside in is that some kids aren't willing to put in the work the ones with the "right last name" do, and their parents think they are better than they are. The new normal is watching your kid get equal playing time in JH and then making a big post on facebook when your kid hits the varsity level about how coaches only play players with the right last name so your kid is calling it quits. Entitlement is a real issue. Instead of quitting, work your butt off in the offseason and come back and earn the playing time.

It's only going to get worse as younger kids sit in the house and play video games all day instead of shooting around in the driveway. I went to a junior high game the other day and couldn't believe how horrible these kids were fundamentally. Look in the stands and every kid is sitting on some kind of electronic device. Kids can learn a lot about the game simply from watching it.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Flip » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:40 pm

Run4Fun2009 wrote:I've heard the excuse of there is no running in VB and BB has lots of running...I feel this excuse is bogus...and that there are a lot of 'lazy' athletes out there.

During an actual game/match basketball has a lot more running, but in my experience VB teams "condition" more than basketball teams. Maybe that's just a small sample size bias.

One more thing I didn't bring up in my previous post is girls mature faster so you're going to see a lot more 8th grade, freshman, sophomores play at a varsity level. So in many cases they are taking minutes away from older girls. Girls are more sensitive and many can't handle younger kids playing ahead of them so instead of accepting their role or working harder they quit.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby bequickdonthurry » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:37 am

Flip wrote:
One more thing I didn't bring up in my previous post is girls mature faster so you're going to see a lot more 8th grade, freshman, sophomores play at a varsity level. So in many cases they are taking minutes away from older girls. Girls are more sensitive and many can't handle younger kids playing ahead of them so instead of accepting their role or working harder they quit.


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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Farmrocket » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:16 am

Hasn't it always been the case that coaches will play the better players, young or not? Are the kids that much different that being part of a team isn't important any more? Or are the coaches different that winning is all that matters?
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby BBfan4life » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:56 am

I agree with all the above posts. Kids have very few coping skills today and when things get difficult, they quit. Hard work can be difficult sometimes and they can't cope with that. Parents have come to their rescue so often that they haven't had to deal with adversity. Its football, track and field, baseball as well. Most of the time the kids are very willing to accept their role but mom and dad aren't and when they come home and have to listen to their parents destroy the coach or a teammate or the school, the kids get sick of it and just quit. Parents are a huge problem. They are way to emotionally involved in their kid's experience.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby Sportsrube » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:01 pm

We have this issue in our school and in a number of schools in our District. (A lot of girls out for VB, very few out for BB). I asked 3 of the girls in our school and I got the "less running" answer from two of them but the third one blew me away with her answer. She said in VB she doesn't have to deal with the "idiots" (her word, not mine) in the stands who think they know everything about the game and constantly yell at the players and the refs. She said she is tired of certain parents and certain fans in BB who are constantly yelling at players and refs so she decided she had better things to do in the winter. She is now working 30+ hrs a week as a CNA.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby B-oldtimer » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:19 pm

I probably shouldn't say this but I am going to do this from my own experience with my daughter. The reasons above given are partially right and some have hit on key factors. But there is more to it than that too I believe and for people that are real into sports its hard to understand. I was there but as time has passed and I have watched other kids and parents go through this I think I am getting a better understanding in participation thing and I also forgot to tell you my wife is on the side equation too. First volleyball is relative new sport in North Dakota we don't have generational investment and community identity involved in it like basketball. So for many of schools importance of volleyball is activity but its not like win or die like it is for many of schools as it is in basketball. This has left the sport to be a in season sport for the most part but it is changing for number of schools. This means kids going out for this sport go out and participate in the sport they have preparation in season for the most part since the numbers have been good so far there so we get number of teams like A,B and C squads so for most part girls get to play some. Second parents are not invested in Volleyball like they are basketball because a lot of them never played the sport and if they did when they played it was usually ask them was something to do and get them ready or keep them in shape for basketball. I know this will anger true volleyball fans but its true for a lot of individuals and if you ask the avid volleyball people its one of pet peeves of them. So from kids that just want to go and participate it takes pressure away and demands put on the sports. So this makes this enjoyable experience for these kids and we have participation numbers. But I now see where coaches and avid parents are creating camps and summer programs so this may go away. Now getting back to basketball season starts as soon as volleyball ends so there is no break and then they end it early so the girls season is very compacted. Then add in pressure from the community, parents, and getting playing time you start setting up scenario for large number of kids where it is not something they want to participate in. This generation has way more opportunities to do things so they will not participate in activity they do not like. Our generation basketball was at least for me only choice you had to be involved with something and got you away from home. To participate in basketball its just not the basketball season anymore for them to play but also the off season or should I say real training and work season. They are expected to play on traveling team when the regular season ends, being in weight lifting program, and then through the summer you add in camps and the summer leagues. Then not to mention the so called open gyms which is more preliminary to season practices. This is not to mention your playing Volleyball and maybe softball or track so see basketball has not become activity something fun to play but for lot of kids its become a job. Then you wonder why the numbers are down. The real avid basketball person they think this is normal but to a lot of people its not. If you ask my generation we did not have this organized work routine we played basketball in home town gyms because it was something fun to do and we could get together with our friends. We were not as contacted as these kids are today playing basketball something of social outing for us and something that would keep out of trouble. Then you add in all politics of playing time and parental pressures, family pressures, and community pressures you wonder how we get as many kids out as we do from such small numbers. Now I haven't added in school and coaching pressures so you see this is not all about kids being lazy its about is seasonal activity for kids to have fun or development program to get kids to play at next level in college where they may be funded at the next level. This brings us to whole another discussion and what may be repercussions for small school sports. But like my daughter said I don't want this as my job if that's case I will work at what I want to do for a job which she did because she wanted sports to be something fun while they were doing it. PS my wife was in full agreement on this philosophy and believe me there are many more people like that you think.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby ninja_joe » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:09 pm

The change in seasons back in 2002 (switching girls basketball from the fall to the winter) had a major impact. Basketball was the first sport offered for girls in the fall & with the start of school year, everyone is excited about it.

Basketball absolutely does require MUCH MORE conditioning. That is a factor.

Plus non athletic kids can participate in volleyball better than in basketball.

Skill level is present in both sports--but basketball absolutely does require more skill level in an individual & in more areas to excel. It takes hours of playing the game to develop skills like shooting, dribbling, passing, etc. And with kid's time spent doing so many electronic things as opposed to days gone by where playing basketball outside on the school playground certainly is impacting the level of play in basketball.

6 kids get to play in volleyball at any given time. 5 for basketball.

I think one other thing people are missing here is the drama factor. Volleyball is the one sport that absolutely creates drama on/off the court with girls. Basketball does too but nowhere near the level volleyball does. So after dealing with stuff for one sports season- many kids don't want to do it again back to back. Thoughts of doing something else (jobs, focus on school work, etc) are so much more appealing to do.

And like Flip said earlier-- girls are more sensitive & there is some credence to girls maturing faster and are capable of playing at varsity level when they are 8th & 9th girls. Younger girls playing ahead of older girls causes problems. Part of the drama in volleyball for sure. The best kids should play. In any sport. It is varsity. Guys don't like that either (BUT--very few 8th grade guys can play varsity due to lack of size & strength). So you do not see it as much.



Just not one factor. Numerous things combined.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby kboftw » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:53 pm

Sportsrube wrote:We have this issue in our school and in a number of schools in our District. (A lot of girls out for VB, very few out for BB). I asked 3 of the girls in our school and I got the "less running" answer from two of them but the third one blew me away with her answer. She said in VB she doesn't have to deal with the "idiots" (her word, not mine) in the stands who think they know everything about the game and constantly yell at the players and the refs. She said she is tired of certain parents and certain fans in BB who are constantly yelling at players and refs so she decided she had better things to do in the winter. She is now working 30+ hrs a week as a CNA.

This is pretty common from what I've seen/heard - not so much the running, but there are a lot of armchair coaches in the stands yelling at their daughters what to do. You get that in boys, as well, but being a teenage girl is rough. (High school girls coach, here. Speaking from what I've dealt with.) When there are so many other options today for kids in their free time, it can be a pretty easy decision whether to play or not.

There are other factors. JO volleyball has also picked up in certain parts of the state. Some girls say that they would rather just focus on getting better at volleyball so they either play winter JO or take the winter off to get ready for spring JO in addition to whatever else they have going on. There are also softball opportunities in the winter that girls take advantage of.

I believe there are some current cultural factors at play, as well. Ninja joe mentioned some of them. Those lead to a decrease in interest of playing basketball. That might swing back toward basketball, eventually, but I think the short-term norm is going to be many Class B schools fielding 75-80% of the numbers they had even 7-8 years ago. Another thing I find interesting is the numbers of seniors playing around the state this year. I was doing some math and I think at the Class B level the average number of seniors on teams is about 2.5, give or take a tenth. A good chunk of teams have 1 or 2 seniors, which seems abnormally low to me. I don't know if that's an anomaly or growing attrition for high school girls.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby ReadyToPlay » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:08 pm

If the girls' lack of participation in basketball excuse is that they are tired from volleyball and they want a break, that's fine. Solution---start basketball in September when they are all ambitious like ninja joe stated and have the state tournament in the first 2 weeks in December.This way they can rest the last half of December and their volleyball can start in January thru March, followed by spring break to Mexico. This way they could have lots of rest.....
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby muley14 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:22 pm

I think there are mostly two things at play. Not wanting to get passed up by younger kids and over bearing parents. I've heard coaches give both as a reason. Whether it is a factor or not, the demographic studies I've seen have a low enrollment bubble going through highschool right now. I believe ND school enrollments bottomed out in about 2009. That would put grades 10-12 as the end of the down turn.

I agree that girls mature earlier and can peak sooner but it seems like there are many younger girls (8-9-10) playing large roles right now and playing them well. Do you think the gap was always this narrow between younger and older and we are just seeing it now because of the lack of older girls playing or is there a really good group of girls working their way up right now?
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby washed_up » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:21 pm

I think part of the problem may also be the fact that the same teams dominate other teams year after year. Using Region 1 as an example at least 1 of 4 schools is going to have a super strong team and some years all 4 do. Some kids in the smaller schools don't feel the desire to play when they can't be competitive with the teams they are playing. I have witnessed this as early as Jr High ball. The old saying goes that "success breeds success" and unfortunately the same can be said when teams are unsuccessful.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby ProudPirate » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:04 pm

Great thread. I agree with most everyone. What's the answer? There really isn't one. I think the best we can do is just go out & support the ones that are out playing. Stay positive & hopefully the trend will change. I don't have any kids in school but continue to support our local teams as best they can.
On the comments about playing time, I don't think you need to be playing 10-11 months out of the year to be good. It's about fundamentals, imo. Go to a 3-4 5-6 or even 7-8 tourney & watch & listen, very few coaches or parents talk fundamentals, it's all about winning. Same girl/boy will dribble the ball, same one will shoot, same one will try to set the pick, that's it. The varsity teams that are successful have elementary coaches that teach fundamentals very well. I couldn't tell ya my 5-6 grade records but I can tell you my varsity & college ones.
Region 1 is down this year. Lack of upperclassmen, could be. Lack of athletes, could be. I know alot of these kids play bb alot including summer leagues so it's not commitment, but I'm seeing lack of fundamentals. Again just my opinion.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby boblee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:39 pm

I believe there are a lot of potential reasons, which means there really isn't one.

I do not, however, buy the "lack of time off" argument. When I was a senior in high school I played football, hockey and baseball. We lost in the state quarterfinals in football on Friday. First hockey practice was Monday. Played in state hockey championship on a Saturday. First baseball practice was Monday. Lost in baseball playoffs on a Friday. Legion started on Monday. TONS of kids in Minnesota would have been going through that.

My best guess is the "everyone gets a trophy" era. More parents are teaching their kids to hate a coach because they don't play enough or because the coach yelled at them once. More kids are quitting when they are just a role player off the bench of an upper classman who doesn't play as much as they want to.

Another documented dynamic is the out of season expectation. I have coached softball around here. Softball is the "in season" sport in the spring (and probably the summer) and we have kids missing games and practices for traveling volleyball, traveling basketball and even basketball camps or volleyball camps. The schools that "share" their athletes the best typically have better numbers or more success. Schools like Thompson and Hillsboro come to mind.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Girls Participation Numbers

Postby The Schwab » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:02 am

boblee wrote:I believe there are a lot of potential reasons, which means there really isn't one.

I do not, however, buy the "lack of time off" argument. When I was a senior in high school I played football, hockey and baseball. We lost in the state quarterfinals in football on Friday. First hockey practice was Monday. Played in state hockey championship on a Saturday. First baseball practice was Monday. Lost in baseball playoffs on a Friday. Legion started on Monday. TONS of kids in Minnesota would have been going through that.

My best guess is the "everyone gets a trophy" era. More parents are teaching their kids to hate a coach because they don't play enough or because the coach yelled at them once. More kids are quitting when they are just a role player off the bench of an upper classman who doesn't play as much as they want to.

Another documented dynamic is the out of season expectation. I have coached softball around here. Softball is the "in season" sport in the spring (and probably the summer) and we have kids missing games and practices for traveling volleyball, traveling basketball and even basketball camps or volleyball camps. The schools that "share" their athletes the best typically have better numbers or more success. Schools like Thompson and Hillsboro come to mind.

Just my two cents.


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