Time Out by Joe Flanagan

Pretty much everyone who follows high school athletics has heard of the NSAA (Nebraska School Activities Association). Most know it’s the organization that administers scholastic activities in Nebraska, even if they aren’t familiar with all the ins and outs.
In the past, I’ve voiced some negative opinions on certain NSAA matters. To wit, I don’t believe the current wild card point system in basketball is equitable. I’ve never fully approved of the manner in which officials are selected for post-season events. Most recently, I felt the published NSAA explanations for experimenting with third-place contests at the state basketball tournaments were disingenuous – in my opinion, it was simply about dollars and cents and paying for the organization’s new digs in Lincoln.
Those things said, let me add that, overall, I believe the NSAA handles an overwhelmingly difficult assignment exceedingly well. For instance, I marvel annually at the complexity and efficiency of the state track and field pageant.
The NSAA and its member schools, year-in and year-out, along with the everyday organizational minutiae, have many tough issues to face, policies to formulate and judgements to render. Of course, plenty of complaints to field, as well. It’s not a job I would want, I’ll admit.
The latest challenge has come from some who feel the NSAA policy negating participation in clubs and other outside sports experiences during that sport’s high school season is too restrictive.
These concerns have, apparantly, been broached mainly in the areas of swimming & diving and soccer. However, any policy change would also undoubtably affect athletes in basketball, volleyball, softball and other sports eventually.
The whole issue strikes me as a question of when is enough, enough? Or too much?
Let me say, I’ve been enamored with and involved in sports for as long as I can remember. From playing little league baseball through participating in junior high and varsity sports, coaching youth teams, officiating high school football and basketball contests, covering athletics in two stints at the Albion News and enjoying adult activities such as softball, bowling and golf.
On top of that, I’m simply a sports fan. Or, some may say, fanatic. I love sports and can rarely get my fill.
But, when it comes to today’s young athletes, I’ve begun to wonder in recent years if enough is, indeed, enough.

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