When Youth Sports Seasons Collide

By Jon Buzby | Posted 11/1/2019

This time of year is when the fall and winter sports seasons collide.

As fall regular-season games end and playoffs begin, the winter sports season kicks off. Even when the actual schedules themselves don’t conflict, we often forget the stamina required to attend two practices or games on the same day is different now.

My rule of thumb as a parent is the fall season schedule comes first. At this point in the season, this includes a fall practice over a winter scrimmage or game. Why? Because we committed to the fall team’s complete schedule, not just until the point of the beginning of the winter team’s season.

That being said, if the fall team decides to play in a season-ending tournament “for fun” that was not on the schedule at the beginning of the season, priorities might shift.

In our house, if a flag football tournament is added to give the team some more games, but conflicts with an important scrimmage for the basketball team, basketball takes precedence.

Why? Because when we signed up for basketball, we did so making a commitment from the time the “normal” fall season schedule ends (including any playoffs) until the end of the basketball season.

When the two seasons collide and schedules work out allowing a player to participate in both sports on the same day, you still have to be cognizant of their physical condition.

This past weekend, our son had an 8:30 a.m. basketball game as part of a preseason tournament with a regular-season fall soccer game following at 11:00 a.m. While he could have easily played in the basketball game and the soccer game, he clearly wouldn’t have been 100% for the latter.

So, we go back to our family rule: fall sports take precedence until the season ends.

As always, communication with both coaches is key regardless of the decision.

No player wants to miss games of any type during any season but having to make choices teaches kids a life lesson about making and keeping commitments.

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.