NPHS’s “Cut” Policy Makes Sports Safer

Michael Henry, staff writer

For most of the past two decades, students who wanted to be on a sports team at NPHS just had to show up.  There was a practice of not cutting anyone.   As of the past four years, a policy has been put in place enabling cuts if safety or development is risked. I think that this policy is justified and effective at keeping teams at the optimal number.

With soccer posting record high tryout numbers every year, it is clear that the inclusion of everyone helps no one. The safety aspect of the cut policy helps to condense teams down to a number of players that works for both the team and individuals.

As a student athlete that participated in sports where cuts occurred, it was clear that cuts needed to be made. In the soccer program, there were around eighty students that tried out for just three teams. With around twenty-five freshmen, cuts were necessary so that the team could operate. If twenty-five players had remained on that single team, it would have been difficult to practice and the one coach responsible for the entire team would have an impossible job. Similar reasoning could be applied to the J.V. and varsity teams. 

With only five players on the court and a much smaller practice area, basketball suffers without cuts. The developmental portion of the cut policy makes teams small enough for effective practices. 

In addition, with close to sixty athletes trying out for basketball, not everyone is on the same skill level. Although it is difficult to cut, it is absolutely necessary in order to keep practices competitive. The skill gap found between players makes certain drills not possible and limits how much players can grow. 

Also, the amount of players trying out would lead to, on average, twenty person teams. With this many people, multiple players would be a sitting out entire games. Practices would also suffer a hit as this many players would cram the gym.

Another positive of the cutting policy are the various steps taken to make sure the cut is fair. Athletic director Vincent Carangelo, described a process where first “the coaches need to give me their information about registrations.  We need to talk through and vet to decide if we do think there are too many that it may pose safety or developmental risks. I then need to submit that information to Dr. Miceli.”  

Once Mr. Carangelo and Dr. Miceli are convinced that the only option is to limit the number of participants on a particular team, the Board of Ed validates the decision, tryouts are held, and the coaches decide who will play.

While this process might seem long, it shows the care put into athletics and those participating in them. The District wants to make sure that every cut is justified and as many students get to play as possible. 

It is clear that the cut policy has players first in mind making strategic cuts only when necessary. These cuts are justified and support the greater good of the programs.