Rec basketball rule change elicits a mixed reaction

Brendan Massoud

This year, recreational basketball, better known as “rec,” has adopted a new policy in which each team can only have one coach. Prior to this year, teams could have both a head coach and an assistant.

Ultimately, ninth and tenth grade commissioner John McCarthy felt that having the second coach was unnecessary. “With only one game a week and no practices, each team really only needs one coach.”

This rule change will expand the league to 24 teams, which will decrease the size of each team, and increase playing time for each player. Additionally, the rule will prevent what McCarthy referred to as “stacked teams,” which is when a certain team has an unusually large number of good players.
However, the change was not well received by all.

Cayne Mandell ’17 was one such player who disagreed with the new rule. “[The rule] makes it harder for friends to be together on the same team, which is the main reason why so many people play rec,” Mandell said.
In response, McCarthy said, “if two players want to play together, the coach will just have to draft that player in the first round.”

While being on a team with friends is a concern for many, others worry that the rule change will disrupt what once was a family activity.
Tripp Backus ’17 has been playing under his mother’s coaching for seven years, but with the one coach policy, his mother will no longer be able to coach.

“She doesn’t have time to be the head coach, so being the assistant always worked,” Backus said. “I’m really disappointed that the league took away her ability to coach.”

Furthermore, Backus sees the assistant coach as a necessity in terms of strategy. “Some head coaches don’t really know what they are doing, so they need an assistant to help them out” Backus said.

However, for Josh Berman ’17 and Teddy Lawrence ’17, the rule will not affect their fathers’ abilities to coach together. The two have been coaching together since childhood, so when they found out about the rule, they simply found a loop hole. Lawrence’s father, though not an official assistant, “just comes to the games and helps,” Berman said.

Others around the league, however, will not particularly notice the difference in coaching. “The amount of coaches doesn’t really matter for self-coached players like myself,” Reece Armstrong ’16 said.