Whether to compete in multiple sports or specialize in just one?
That is the dilemma many high school athletes face today.
According to Ripon High School Athletic Director Bill Kinziger, many of them are choosing the latter.
He noted the number of three-sport athletes seem to have dropped the past several years.
Kinziger attributes this to a number of factors, including the time commitment involved in being in three sports, especially in the summer.
“I was talking to my wife and I’m like, ‘I could not imagine if [my son] Jack was out for a winter sport. He would be gone every single night this summer,’” Kinziger said.
He added it is an unintended consequence of the WIAA expanding the number of permitted contact days to five in the summer for each sport, to go along with summer league play many athletes also participate in.
“We saw less three-sport athletes as a result and we had a lot more people who are specializing and spending their summer focusing on one, maybe two things as opposed to three,” Kinziger said of the added contact days. “I don’t blame the WIAA; it’s something they’ve evolved with in time as well. What we all need to do is just keep things in better perspective.”
The Ripon athletic director noted he has had talks with his coaches to gain that point of view.
Read the full story, which includes other reasons why the number of three-sport athletes might be declining, as well as the benefits of participating in three-sports, in the Aug. 10, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.