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“Underrated” Sports Teams: Why They Exist and How to Change It

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Okay, so a majority of us here are or have been a part of at least one ISZL sports team. Now, many of us might be biased, but it’s often felt that certain teams are overshadowed by other ones. There are a handful of teams that somehow seem to get “all the attention”. I’m not going to call out any names here, but I’m sure we can all think of some sports teams that somehow get more exposure than others. So, if we preach equal participation, why does this problem at ISZL still exist? 

One of the most common problems that students seem to point out are the differences in budget allocations. As someone who has been on a team where funding was minimal compared to other teams until we really pushed our ideas, I know the difference it can make. After all, are students more likely to sign up for a team with modern and high-quality equipment, or a team with only the bare minimum? This also then ties in with the amount of support a team gets from the rest of the team. If a team has proper training equipment, then they are more likely to get the most out a training and ultimately perform better; and the stronger the team, the more people are going to be attracted to a game. Moral of the story: if you want more funding for your team; let your coach, Mr Engl, and the booster club know!

Another problem is where the sports are played; which unfortunately is something we can’t do anything about. Let’s face it: it’s far easier for a team to gather support if their sport is being played in the gym or being played on the school pitch. It isn’t so easy for the school to come support a game if it’s at a softball diamond, in a swimming pool, or on a running track. That being said, if teams play at away tournaments, athletes can always take the initiative to get the live stream links from the hosting school. A very large majority of schools will accommodate live streams, the steps players just need to take are getting the link out to the rest of the school. For example, on Schoology. 

My previous point links in with my next argument- exposure! It’s often found that the more “popular” teams are the ones who announce upcoming games during assemblies or on Schoology. Even if it’s something small such as introducing yourself as a team in assembly, it usually helps because people are reminded of the sport and those who play it. So, if you feel like you play for an “underrated” team and you have a home game that isn’t at school but easily accessible (e.g. Herti track,  Ehret pitch, and the Roni diamond), make sure to announce it! The more people know about it and know where to go, the more people will come watch. Now, and in the future. 

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