Is the no-cut rule in sports justifiable?

Joe Marz, Editor-in-chief

As reported by ABC 6, a school in New Jersey recently passed a rule for its cheer leading squad after a mother complained to the administration about her daughter being cut from the team. Now, either everyone who tries out makes the cheer leading squad, or no one does.

The extremity of the school’s solution illustrates how the no-cut rule applied to many sports is unfeasible. However, this does not mean there are no benefits to avoiding player cuts. As noted by Edmonton Journal, students who get cut from teams “lose friends and are forced to find new social circles. They question their own identities and can feel lost and adrift.”

Despite these benefits, there are significant drawbacks in trying to please everyone with the no-cut rule. Notably, as stated by Coach & A.D.’s Josh Hils, students who do not play in sports “build resentment. They resent the coach. They resent the team, but more importantly they resent the game”. This can ruin a sport for players — turning something they once loved into a burden.

Cuts in high school sports are also sometimes necessary, as there are often more people trying out than there are available positions.

“Sometimes it’s a necessity because of number limitations on various teams, so you can’t keep everybody,” Pewaukee Athletic Director John Maltsch said.

Furthermore, though they can be difficult, cuts can benefit students from their inherent stakes. According to Parents’ Devan McGuinness, competition can help children “develop important skills they’ll use well into adulthood, like taking turns, developing empathy, and tenacity” — all of which help students become better people.

To gain both these benefits of applying cuts and avoid the drawbacks of students not playing the sport they love, the most feasible solution is to exclusively apply the no-cut rule to sports where there are an unlimited number of available spots.

“We do have other sports obviously that don’t cut and that’s because there’s no number restrictions,” Maltsch said. “You can have 5 to 100 players on a team, so that’s the difference.”

By applying the no-cut rule in this manner, students can both avoid major hits to their identity in sports that do not necessitate such selection and learn valuable life skills when number limitations on sports force cuts. Refraining from making cuts is important when they are avoidable, but sometimes such cuts are inescapable and can be beneficial.


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