Too Many Playoffs At One Time
One of the busiest weekends in the sports world, the Vanier Cup, the Grey Cup, the Leafs and Raptors playing too, and we also have Ontario high school championships — not one, but eight.
Why organizers continue to schedule multiple playoffs for the same time baffles not just me, but apparently many of our readers too.
Going through my long list of emails on many topics, and even a few letters — people still write them — there are dejected folks or people with opinions. Some claim they have asked, not sure who, and don't get straight answers. Welcome to the real world. Frustrated, they give up and just don't go to school playoffs. Unfortunate, I think, for many.
Some might have an interest in watching a family member, a former school, friends or may just want to see something other than the pro stuff. Well, the provincial sports organization running the show of school sports hasn't made things easy.
Eight Ontario high school playoffs are taking place now, with all eight finals tomorrow — and spread out across the province. No one has been able to give me a good reason, excuses don't count, on why there can't be some flexibility, even a couple of days. I know exams don't start next week and, if there is concern on overlapping with Winter sports, well it's already happening.
There's some honesty in March, when playoffs, which used to be the night before the Spring break, got moved up a bit earlier. The reason: well, many coaches who are teachers, need to get a quick start to vacations during the March Break.
But now. Girls' basketball playoffs with quad-A in Hamilton, triple-A in London, double-A in Belleville, single-A in Cornwall. There's more. Boys' volleyball playofffs with quad-A in London, triple-A in Stratford, double-A in Sarnia and single-A in Bowmanville. Well, the folks in the London area lucked out.
If only to help promote school sports, something OFSAA should always be looking to improve on, then a good start is to either be flexible on dates or return to the format of one provincial final. Saves time and tax dollars too.
Since OFSAA strongly believes the recent all-day football event was a success, maybe it should be thinking about a similar initiative for other sports? Toronto, for example, certainly has enough locations — and stacking all the finals in one city is an idea.
They did it with football at the Rogers Centre, why not make friends with the Raptors, Basketball Canada and corporate sponsors and do it for that sport at the Air Canada Centre? Turn this in to a major event — and in one city.
Creative thinking, and maybe with a bit of common sense too.