Make no mistake, I greatly enjoy sports and don’t understand how some fail to catch sports’ competitive bug. Still, I have become dismayed that college athletics, and even down to high school and younger, have taken over the calendar of its participants and families. They require the dedication more appropriately associated with careers.
Consequently, I was encouraged to see the Diocese of Covington increase its summer “dead period” for athletic activity from two to three weeks beginning this year.1 The new diocesan policy for Catholic schools will be a cessation of all sports activities starting on June 23 and continuing through July 13. This will exceed Kentucky’s state policy for high schools.2
Michael Clines, superintendent of Covington’s diocesan schools: “Basically the extended dead period will allow parents an opportunity to take back their kids without fear of any kind of repercussions or disadvantages. It also gives the coaches a chance to spend more time with their families or to do other things they would like to do without having that feeling of ‘am I not keeping up with the team down the street?’”1
For our Church which believes in the importance of the family, this is a step in the right direction. Ideally, this concept will advance further in both parochial and public schools so that sports are taken back to a proper emphasis in our lives.
1 – “Extending athletic ‘Dead Period’ hopes to bring new life to families,” by Laura Keener, editor of the Messenger (the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Covington), 1/24/2014
2 – The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s handbook states that “Students may not receive coaching or training from school personnel (either salaried or non-salaried) and school facilities, uniforms, nicknames, transportation or equipment shall not be used each year in any KHSAA sanctioned sport or sport-activity during the period beginning with June 25, and going through July 9… These restrictions shall not apply to postseason wrap-up activities, celebrations and recognition events relating to a spring sports team at a school which participated in KHSAA state championship play in that particular sport during that particular year. (Bylaw 24, section 3) www.khsaa.org/handbook/bylaws