Swimming: Add Mixed Gender Relays
My favorite sport, swimming, provides me with a sense of pride and joy. I relate to the professional swimmers I watch on television because I comprehend the amount of work they put into the pool to occasionally drop milliseconds of time in an event. It can be gruesome, but I find myself absorbed by the vital details that many sports lack- yardage, pace work, strokes, underwaters, etc. However, there are changes I’d like to see that would change the sport for the better, like mixed gender relays. This would mean two males and two females each swim an equal distance in a specific order while racing other mixed gender relays. I think this would add some diversity to the sport, as well as making great TV.
— Annie Andres, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn
Volleyball: Change the Back Row Rules
I personally think that in volleyball, there are too many rules with letting back row hit the ball. With the typical D Pike A formation, its simple, but once you add the rule that they have to stay behind the 10 foot line to hit, it becomes more of a hassle than just letting them hit by the net. It doesn’t make sense that the strongest passers have to also have the strongest swing, because if you stay behind the 10 foot line to hit, than you have not only make the ball go farther, you also need to way more power than someone who is a middle or an outside hitter. It also makes it harder on a setter to push the ball farther off the net than their regular set up by the net. In all, volleyball is my favorite sport to play and to watch, I just wish that some rules would be abolished from the rule books to make the game more enjoyable for the players.
— Grace V, IPoly High
Figure Skating: Positive Changes Came After Quarantine
As a figure skater, the start of quarantine was supposed to be the start of a new skating season …. Before the pandemic, for each competition you always had to arrive at least an hour before to check-in. I have always felt that an hour was too much and added unnecessary stress. Now to limit the people in the building coming in close contact for a long amount of time, the check-in is around 25 minutes and I am in the rink 20 minutes before my event. This way you have time to warm-up, check your hair and costume, tie your skates, and be ready to go on. Before this, you would always have around another 30 minutes of just sitting or walking around the rink stressing out. Another great change that has occur in figure skating competitions, is waiting for the results after the competition. After you have skated, you would wait another hour to get your results and critics. Now, results are posted conveniently online and you can see them on your way home. Overall, I think quarantine has evoked a much needed change in the way figure skating competitions are carried out.
— Elizabet Mikhina, Glenbard West High
N.H.L.: Or Boxing?
I like watching hockey, but it would be much better if they removed all the boring figure skating and made it all about the combat.
— Stanley S., JR Masterman School, Philadelphia, PA
Cheerleading and Competitive Dance: Call My Sport a Sport
Most of the people who say cheerleading is not a sport are people who play other sports like basketball or baseball. I am an All Star cheerleader, but I have also done school competitive cheer where we go to nationals. In my opinion any competitive type of cheerleading is definitely a sport, but when it comes to sideline cheer I understand why some people consider it not a sport. In my opinion cheerleading is one of the hardest sports, and one of if not the sport that needs the most athleticism and stamina. I have played a lot of sports, and cheered since I was three, I feel like the hardest sport that I have ever done is cheerleading. I feel like if another sport tried to do my teams cheer routine they would not be able to push through it. Cheerleading requires a whole different group of muscles and strength then other sports. In conclusion cheerleading is a sport, and I believe people should look more into it before they say something.
— RC, J. R. Masterman School, Philadelphia, PA
Dance has always been a large part of my life. My mom put me in ballet class at age two, and ever since then I have had a growing passion for the art. I started competing when I was in fifth grade, and I am still on that same competition team to this day. What I believe makes dance so appealing and thrilling is the never ending challenges you face. You are always pushing yourself to perform better than the last performance, or train harder than the day before … However, one thing that is missing in the dance world is how others perceive the art/sport. I say “art/sport” because it really is both. Many people assume that dance is only an art because you are just spinning around on your tippy toes and never breaking a sweat. This is very false. All dancers can attest to the fact that behind closed doors, dance is a vigorous and physically draining sport. The beauty of dance is that we are able to stretch so far past the limits of a normal human body, while making it look pleasing and “easy” to the eye.
— Mary Crum, Glenbard West High School