Should High School Baseball be Played in the Fall, Football in the Spring?
As COVID-19 continues to keep sports on the sideline for the time being, sports fans are hoping that the fall football season isn't interrupted.
On Friday, Press of Atlantic City high school sports reporter Mike McGarry, wrote about the possibility of flipping the football season to the spring and playing playing baseball in the fall.
His reason is simple, baseball is more socially distant as a sport than football. By moving football to the spring season, you would give more time to try and learn more about coronavirus and make it safer for kids to potentially return to the field in a more normal configuration.
Opinions have come in from both sides, including some local high school football and baseball coaches.
Tom Williams from Prime Events asked area baseball and football coaches their thoughts:
- Brett Bean, Atlantic City baseball coach: “I would like the change.”
- Bryan Carmichael, Egg Harbor Township baseball coach: “I don’t really have an opinion about whether I favor switching seasons. However, it doesn’t seem to make much sense if only New Jersey was to do it.”
- Bill Kern, Mainland baseball coach: “Its an interesting concept. I think I would have to see more details. I would prefer to see baseball stay in the spring but not at the expense of seeing kids miss the opportunity to compete.”
- Chuck Smith, Mainland football coach: “I am a traditionalist and would love to see football in the fall. But safety for all is paramount. I understand the rational, especially with football categorized as a high-risk activity. But I have a couple concerns. Many of our spring athletes (particularly lacrosse and track) play football. This would create a conflict for those student athletes. If football is moved to the spring, does this mean we will play back-to-back seasons? But whatever it takes as long as we get to play.”
- Dennis Thomas, Millville football coach: “It will be a major adjustment. College recruiting, early enrollment, late birthdays will all play a factor. Safety is key, our country had a nonchalant approach in the beginning, we must not have a premature response or we will create another bad situation.”
- Kevin Smith, Ocean City football coach: “I’m all for whatever allows us to have a season. I don’t want it to be at the expense of anyone else’s season and I want it to happen safely. If switching fall and spring sports will allow that, I’m OK with it. That said, there are lots of complications with that scenario. You would have baseball in the fall and then a 16-month break before the next baseball season. And you’d have football in the spring followed by another football season almost immediately in the fall. That’s not ideal, to say the least. I would favor keeping the seasons as they are and playing a modified football season if necessary over switching. I think switching should only be considered as a last resort. More than anything, we need to let things play out these next two months and see what develops before rushing a decision.”
- Paul Sacco, St. Joseph football coach: “I don’t want to see happen to any more kids what happened to the spring sports athletes this year. That would have devastated me when I was in high school. I do have some mixed feelings. Would this become the norm? Or would we play in the spring, take a month off and then get ready for another football season in the fall? I want to see the kids play and I want to get out there and coach. But we have to do it right and do it safely. There are other issues. Are we going to switch the football after every snap, after every play, and wipe it down? That will be a challenge in practice but imagine how it could slow down games. We’ll all do our best to adjust to whatever they decide. We just don’t want any more kids to be disappointed like the spring athletes were this year.”
Mike joined the Sports Bash to discuss his idea and answer some questions about potential hurdles of pulling it off.