Hello World!

We've reached an interesting time of the summer. It comes around every year and I'm never quite sure what to make of it.

Yes, it's moratorium week.

A week when high school athletes can't have any contact with their coaches.

A week when, in theory, athletes take a week off from the never-ending grind that high school sports have become.

I think the intended design is more of the exception than the rule.

I wrote a column about this last year and got an email from a coach letting me know that he was out of the state, and therefore not working with athletes. It was lighthearted. I don't think any of the coaches are breaking the rules, and he knew that. That's not what I'm suggesting.

I'm only suggesting that this "week off" isn't really a week off.

But that's OK with me. I don't see the need for the IHSAA to mandate athletes to take a week off from the sports their playing. And most athletes won't. Turn the page and you'll see that a bunch of kids between 15 and 18 are playing in a baseball tournament this weekend at local high schools and Wabash.

That's good by me.

I can hear it now. "Let the kids be kids! They need time off!"

What better way to be a kid than to play a game?

The kids that are putting in work this week (either on their own or with travel teams) love the games they're playing. They don't love 6 a.m. workouts. They don't love running sprints. They don't love losing. But they love playing. And that's why they do it.

So I say let them play.

Playing virtually year-round is part of the game these days. Whether that's right or wrong is a different discussion. But the reality of the situation is that athletes don't get time off. That's made pretty clear when they sign up. But they still sign up. And they play. And they love it.

The IHSAA isn't going to do away with the moratorium week. It's just something that will have to be worked around - which isn't very difficult.

The week apart is good in the sense that it gives coaches an opportunity to step back and gear up for the season ahead. They can spend the week doing whatever they please. For some that will be a vacation. For others that will be work with the coaching staff to prepare.

There's no wrong way for a coach to spend this week.

Even more so than athletes, the coaches never have time off from sports. Coaches get to practice early and stay late. They have a different set of obligations that are equally as taxing. So if they take this week off, that's OK. If a kid takes this week off, that's OK. But many aren't and that's the nature of the beast. To think that we can suddenly shut it off for a week and go full tilt the other 51 weeks of the year is illogical to me. But that's for the IHSAA to decide. I am just an observer.

What do you think? Is the moratorium a worthwhile addition to the sports schedule? Let me know! You can send me an email at nburk@thepaper24-7.com, find me on Twitter @ThePaperSports or drop me a line at 361-0100 ext. 31.

I look forward to hearing from you!