Kungaloosh, While this looks good on the surface it is another attempt by the AHSAA to "squash" AAU basketball. Think through your analysis and you will see that it rarely would work in the athlete's best interest. They would devote the summer to practicing with inner squad games for seven weeks with outside competition on seven Saturdays. In the meantime the player has given up the opportunity to play at a higher level of competition on a travel team with multiple scouting opportunities.
The current system only feeds the egos of the HS coaches who want complete control over their players, but want to do little in help the players development/exposure. If the AHSAA really wants to help the players let them open the entire summer up for the coaches to compete with their teams. This will NEVER happen for several reasons, but primarily because while these coaches want control over their players and hate the attention drawn to travel teams/programs, they want their free summers playing golf more.
Disclaimer: This isn't a slam on the many good HS coaches who have a genuine interest in their players.
I agree that high school coaches can take over their players to their detriment by not allowing them to play travel ball. However, if played right this new rule could be good.
The players that have the means and the ability to play for high profile travel teams should. Those players get better, and as a result, hopefully the high school teams get better.
However, there are many, many players that don't have the means or ability to play high profile travel ball and by practicing together and playing together with their high school team, the team can only get better.
Forcing everyone to split off into mediocre Babe Ruth or local ball can't help.
Kungaloosh, Real example: A local HS coach called his players together for a team meeting last week to inform them about their summer plans. He told them they would be utilizing the seven playing days throughout the summer and otherwise would be holding internal scrimmages. He also informed them they could NOT play on a summer traveling team.
I have a hard time believing that this is in the best interest of his players and that the 2-3 college prospects on his team will get better this summer by facing junior varsity pitching.
If a HS coach is dumb enough to keep his players from playing travel ball then that would force me to have to choose between the two. If that were to happen in the ATL area of Georgia then many, many HS teams would suffer.
I personally think it is awful the way the high school coaches treat the boys in our state over the issue of travel ball. My son ws forced to make a decision between travel ball or high school ball. He chose to play high school ball because he wanted to be able to play with his friends his last year in school. He had already caught retribution over the travel ball issue once--sat the bench almost the whole season due to it (until playoffs came around and then guess who the coach turned to?) His dad and I did not think that choosing to play for his high school over travel ball was in his best interest but the final decision had to be his. The American tradition has always been to strive to be the high school star--pull it through for your community. In the end that won out in his heart. Travel ball is better competition, coaching is better, and exposure is better. High school coaches are intimidated by it. Kids come out being the losers due to coaches attitudes and desire for control.
Hiflier, your son should never have had to make a choice between travel ball or high school ball. It reflects poorly upon the high school coach who put him to that choice.
In my current situation, I have been able to come to an agreement with my son's high school coach that seems to be working well: I call him every Sunday night to coordinate the next weeks schedule, allowing the needs of the travel ball team to prevail (i.e. for pitching availability, etc.) where there would otherwise be a conflict.
This is really a win-win situation for the coach and for my son. My son gets more training/practice sessions throughout the week than he would with his travel team alone, but still gets to play against the MUCH tougher competition that the travel ball allows. The coach still gets the input into player development, progress and evaluation that he wants, and also gets a reasonable amount of availability for the allowed high school games.
This being the first year of this new rule, I think it is important to share experiences. I find it reasonable that the summer ball policy may become a factor in one's selection of high schools, where a choice exists.