Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Holiday game causes more labor than play

September 6, 2001

Monday, while most of us were enjoying a day of holiday leisure, the Eudora High School junior varsity team was on the field in Paola.

Although he said he would prefer to play the game another day, Eudora High School Athletic Director Larry McPherson said teams regularly practice on Labor Day, so the addition of two hours travel time was the only change to the players' schedules.

Leaving aside the fact that we would avoid any reason to travel on dangerous U.S. Highway 169 on a holiday weekend, this ignores the parents' schedules.

Labor Day is one of six holidays nearly all companies observe. As such it should be family time. It is a day for one last backyard barbecue, a trip to the swimming pool or rare quiet time. It is a day for families to be together and create memories.

Studies show Americans are working more hours. Two-income families are common place, as are teenage jobs. Children are involved in activities that keep them and parents running at a hectic pace. The resulting full schedules almost make day planners a necessity for all family members.

We all deserve a chance to take a breath. That's what holidays are about. The high school arranges its schedule two years in advance. Surely that was enough lead to find alternative date.

Furthermore, we would suggest the Kansas State High School Activities Association mandate the end of Labor Day practices. The move would not only preserve the holiday for families, but also give players a well-deserved rest after weeks of conditioning in summer heat. Undoubtedly, coaches would protest the loss of what they would insist was a critical practice following the first week of the season. We would point out teams play far more important games during the state playoffs with less preparation time. Coaches could take solace in the fact that their Friday night opponents were in the same boat.

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