MOODY: 4A basketball format doesn’t work |

MOODY: 4A basketball format doesn’t work

Darrell Moody

We’re about two weeks into the current 4A basketball season, and I haven’t talked to a single boys or girls coach yet who likes the new format.

Unlike football which went to one league, basketball still has the High Desert and Sierra leagues. That’s no big deal except the basketball commissioner decided that the crossover games between High Desert and Sierra teams would count in the league standings.

Carson coach Bruce Barnes spoke on behalf of the basketball coaches last year when all of this was decided, but his speech fell on deaf ears.

Barnes made a pretty good argument with the following statement:

“You could go 10-0 in your league games and lose all your crossover games and finish third,” Barnes said. “I don’t have a problem playing the games, I just don’t feel they should count.”

Carson girls coach Todd Ackerman and Reno girls coach Shane Foster, and Reed boys coach Dustin Hall don’t like the new format, either.

What stinks about the crossovers is that it’s just one game and not a home and home. Foster commented that he was fortunate his game against Carson was on Reno’s home floor and not at Carson because he wasn’t sure what the outcome would have been if Carson had been the home team.

My argument is that league games shouldn’t start this soon. If you have a successful football team, basketball coaches usually have less than 10 days to work with their full team. That’s not near enough time to get ready, especially if you have quite a few new varsity players.

There are several scenarios that would have worked much better. For what it’s worth, here’s my opinion on the subject.

• It’s fine to play the crossover games, just don’t make them count toward the league standings. Most of the schools play each other anyway because of travel considerations.

• Go to one big league where you play each other twice (22 games) and have one tournament. That way if league officials still insist on counting the crossover games at least it will be a home and home situation which is equal for everybody.

• Re-evaluate the rule on how many games you can play in a season. Let schools play three or four games that don’t count before crossovers start even if that means starting the league season later and having to play three times a week a few times.


And, while we’re on the subject of basketball schedules, whoever decided to have four games at one site and having the two freshmen teams play together at an opposite site had rocks in their head.

It doesn’t work. The varsity games are starting up to 30 minutes late which was the case when Carson visited Reed last week. As a journalist, it sucks. I can’t think the parents are happy either, getting home well after 10 p.m. whenever you go to a road game.

When this was announced, I was told by an athletic director at a Washoe County school that it was done so that the freshmen wouldn’t miss so much class time.

Freshman games now start at 5 and 6:30 p.m., so if the Carson teams travel in the same bus, and go for instance to Spanish Springs, they aren’t getting back to school until after 9 p.m. unless they are allowed to go home with their parents. Is that really solving anything?

My initial reaction is that if you can’t miss a couple of classes and still pass a class then maybe he/she shouldn’t be involved in athletics in the first place. Playing sports is a privilege not a right. You earn the right to be on the playing field by how well you do in school.

Hey, here’s a thought. Why not have the freshman play one game a week on a Saturday? No missed classes and it’s certainly easier to arrange busing on the weekend. In fact, there really isn’t a reason why all basketball couldn’t be played on Friday and Saturday every week during the league season.