I like sports just as much as the next person. That is to say, I enjoy playing many sports for fun and not necessarily competitively, for my school. I’ll admit, this is partially because I’m not good enough to get on the teams. However, Palo Alto High School Associated Student Body (ASB) should aim to provide more student intramural sports competitions, to give students a chance to participate in a sport they may not play competitively.
The Paly community recognizes the need for organized but light-hearted sports competitions between students. Take, for example, the success of the ASB planned volleyball tournament on the quad. We have no boys volleyball team at Paly and we don’t have nearly that many players on our volleyball team, yet multiple teams competed at the enjoyment of the entire school. Best of all, it only took some basic equipment.
The volleyball tournament not only brought more people on the quad, but students also enjoyed a break from the school day to take a step back and enjoy the game. Admittedly, it is not as easy to transplant other sports to the quad, like tennis or swimming. However, for sports like badminton, basketball and soccer, all that is needed to play is a net, a ball and in one case, a few rackets. The physical education department likely has all this equipment on hand, so it would not be hard to obtain.
These tournaments could be easily organized by ASB and could take place on the quad, the lacrosse/soccer field or the football field. Although the latter two locations are not as central on the school, they allow for more space for competitions and students would most likely be willing to venture over their to watch. To make teams for the competitions, ASB could send out a Google Form on the class Facebook groups, or on its own Facebook page. The competition could also be publicized by flyers and announcements on InFocus TV. Students would then be able to register their team for the competition. All that is left is for ASB to match up the teams and set up the equipment for the event.
If it is too much work to organize these events, perhaps the physical education department could lend some of its equipment during lunch, so students can toss around a football, kick a soccer ball or just throw a frisbee. The Physical Education department has a wide variety of sports equipment and does not use all of it at the same time. This program would allow the equipment to be put to use when the department is not using it. Creating a system that allows students to borrow sports equipment is such a simple idea that could greatly increase the number of activities available during lunch.
However, this equipment does not only have to be available during lunch. The physical education department could also allow equipment to be leased out to students. The equipment could be held in the gym, or an other centralized location. If the department is worried about equipment getting lost, P.E. teachers can require the students to leave a phone number or email address in order to check out equipment. Also, if equipment actually began to go missing, the P.E. teachers could require students to leave an object of value, the way textbooks are lent out in the Academic Resource Center. The equipment could be leased out during Advisory, Tutorial and after school, if P.E. teachers are available.
Historically, Paly has never had many winter sports. Many students do not participate in a winter sport, because only basketball, soccer and wrestling are available. To take advantage of our new facilities, the physical education department should consider adding a boys volleyball team. Many high schools in the Bay Area are beginning to add boys volleyball teams. Even middle schools in our district have been quick to adopt them. It is time that Paly catches up.