By Ariana Lopez ’18
Sports teams are often set up in two groups: JV and Varsity. Varsity often being upperclassmen (11th and 12th) or advanced players and JV being underclassmen (9th and 10th) or average/below average players. All of this mostly deals with performance or ability. However, athletes can never be on both teams due to standard sport protocol. More requirements and rules vary on the institution/sport team.
Often times, JV is seen as an effective space for players before they are put into Varsity. It is seen as a good preparation before the Varsity level of rigor, as stated by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS): “We use our Junior Varsity level as an opportunity to prepare athletes for varsity next year.”
But what if all of that is skipped? Can that benefit a team or pose a direct detriment? As whether or not having a JV team is a coaches decision and will be based on what the coach deems necessary, those who will directly experience the environment and overall conditions of this shift are the players.
Analisa Burgos, who plays Volleyball (four years on Varsity) as well as softball (two years on Varsity) stated she feels not having a JV team allows the coaches to entirely “focus on the Varsity team,” which serves as an advantage for the players because it enables them all to work with that attention and develop new skills. For her personally, she doesn’t think not being on JV during her volleyball experiences excluded her from anything.
However, it is differently this year for softball. This year, the softball team will not have a JV team for executive reasons. Burgos stated: “Everyone who made the varsity team made it for a reason and each and every player contributes to the teams success whether it be at practice or a game,” in regards to who made the cut. The only downfall of it being the fact that the amount of players were cut short this year, according to the softball and volleyball player.
Enrique Delgado, a senior who played baseball all four years (two on JV and two on Varsity), stated in regards to the baseball team not having a JV team either: “There’s a lot of development that needs to be made for the younger guys […] [that can] help elevate their game a lot quicker.” Delgado stated that a drawback for the lack of a JV team is the fact that the inexperienced players can see what a “polished team” looks like, and apply that to their own experience. He added on stating that a drawback would be that the players who would’ve been on JV will probably not get as much playing time because the team always plays “the starting best […] nine players”
Overall, it is safe to say that while a JV aids the experience and practice underdeveloped players receive before making it to Varsity, having a JV team is not detrimental to that experience, as many players can still receive that practice while still being on Varsity.