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Home Court Advantage

March 8, 2017
BY BRUCE CRAWFORD - Staff Writer (bcrawford@wetzelchronicle.com) , Wetzel Chronicle

With the boys' basketball teams in full swing, and the girls winding down before the state tournament, I would like to go a bit further with that.

This year in high school basketball, Region I, Sections I and II had different ways they did the tournament. Region I, Section I had all teams playing at one place, where Section II did it a little differently. The two lower-seeded teams played each other at a different high school in the section, with the loser of that game hosting the tournament.

I like both ways, but heavily-lean toward the lower-seeded teams hosting the tournament. Both ways are okay, but you know I still like the thought of home field, mat, or court advantage.

My way of thinking is, you play all season in baseball and basketball for home field advantage come tournament time. Teams that have smaller gymnasiums, that can't have as many fans, join the fun. But, teams with smaller courts use that as their advantage when they play.

You can find something good, as well as find something bad, in any decisions that the coaches make before the season starts, and all agree majority wins.

I like that all the coaches have a voice and decide all those things before the season starts, and they all will need to use that on how they coach.

Now, switching teams all over the place, to centralize each section, is tough, and it can be spread out in many different ways. That's why the WVSSAC gets the big bucks to decide for us.

When a team loses home field advantage, there are so many dynamics, and arguably advantages, that are lost. Besides the fact that parents and fans now have to travel, the athletes lose the advantage of knowing where they are on the field or court with their eyes closed, or being able to lay that perfect bunt down the third base line and keeping the ball just inside the foul line, or a fast athlete being able to perform at their peak output because they know the feel of their turf.

That is part of the game that is fun for most, but not fun for all. When we take away, what we in sports call the sixth man, away from the game, I believe that the game loses out.

I enjoy the roaring of the hometown team's student body getting with the program, making it difficult for the opposing teams to excel, but that is just me.

Whatever the case might be, the fans should bring that sixth man wherever their teams play. I know travel is a problem, getting babysitters, as well as the cost to go. That's where there are good fans, and there are great fans. Whatever the case, we must let our coaches, and the people in charge, do what is best for the kids and the teams.

Now that basketball and wrestling are nearly over, we can now concentrate on track, baseball and softball, and tennis too.

We have the spring sports schedules out, and many of the games that are scheduled may change, due to weather and other reasons, so stay in touch with our paper for information on when and where you teams will play.

The last thing I want to add to my column is about track.

Magnolia has a nice track. I should know this, because I helped in raising funds for the Eagles to have a track. Once they had a track, they started winning some track championships. It's nice to see the kids practice, but it would even be better if they had a few track meets there too.

I've talked with coaches about why we don't have any meets there anymore, and their answer is lighting, sound system and seating for the spectators. I don't think that is the reason at all, and I would hope that someone would actually tell me the real reason.

We had meets there in the past, with the same lighting, sound system, and seating. We still have the same distances on the track as we had in the past too.

I didn't help support the track just to have practice, and I know the school surely isn't keeping up the maintenance, and purchase of equipment, just for practice.

Most of the people that would watch track meets from the New Martinsville area can't make it to Tyler Consolidated and Williamstown for meets. Lets make a little money, instead of paying out all the time. Why is it called WTTL league, when it is only PC that goes out to Tyler, and we only go a couple of times.

Let's get back the WTTL to one week at Tyler and the next time at Magnolia. If it is something else, please let the Chronicle know and I will let the people know.

I'm not hard on our county sports programs, but I believe if what the coaches are telling me is correct, why are we not having any home meets?

We can make some money, as we don't have to pay a driver. Our fans in Wetzel County don't have to travel, and its a win-win situation. Let's get it done.

It's not too late. I'm sure Tyler Consolidated would let us have one of the WTTL meets in Wetzel County. And, just maybe, we can get Valley and Hundred to come to New Martinsville, instead of traveling to Moundsville and other places. Plus, parents and family members can watch a meet when they get off work.

I know its a hard job to put on a meet, but like in the past and even still at Tyler Consolidated, all the school coaches pitch in to help run the meet.

 
 
 

 

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