New workouts, new rules

New NCHSAA rules allow unlimited athletes to participate


Senior Maddie Riley and junior Mary Brennan Page battle for the ball during their first home scrimmage. The team is just one that will benefit from the rules.

Noah Pittarelli, Ross Genetti, Staff Reporter

When new off-season workout rules came into play over the summer, coaches had higher hopes for their athletes.

In previous years, off-season skill session attendance was limited to one fewer players than the number who would play at a time. So, soccer was restricted to 10 because 11 play on the field, and basketball was restricted to four because five play on the court.

However, sessions are voluntary and are prohibited during tryouts of other seasons as well as during exams.

Girls’ soccer coach Jeremiah Mattingly feels larger group workouts are beneficial.

“Now that you’re allowed everybody, you can diversify it and break them up into sub groups, so you can actually work specifically with players on things that they need to address or issues they need to solve,” Mattingly said.

Since basketball teams are already small, the limit used to be four athletes, making it hard for the team to shape up for the season.

Boys’ basketball coach Todd Seymour also favored this change.

“The smaller groups had its advantages. You could have a little more one on one interaction with kids and players,” Seymour said. “The big groups allow you to work on more team concepts: five on five, putting in plays and defensive stuff that you couldn’t do with the four man groups.”

Softball coach Brittany Owens sees the pros and cons of the new rule.

“Before, I was able to give more individual instruction with the smaller groups. With the new rules, I am able to see more athletes more often,” Owens said.

Mattingly feels workouts are influenced by the girls’ social relationships off the field.

“No matter what, people are a little bit ‘cliquey’ and they want to be with their friends. If one girl’s friend wasn’t going to workouts, she might not go, but now that it’s opened to everybody, it’s more trendy, meaning we’ll probably get more numbers consistently,” Mattingly said.

Athletic director and baseball coach Mike Joyner had been anticipating these changes.

“I am very much in favor of the new rules.  It gives everyone equal time to work out in the offseason.  It has been a long time coming,” Joyner said.

Boys’ lacrosse coach Jamie Riedel believes new workout rules will not help him and his athletes accomplish more before the season.

“I don’t think lacrosse will benefit from the new workout rules because a high number of lacrosse players play other sports,” Riedel said. “I believe teams will accomplish more when their players develop their athletic skills outside of workouts and dedicate time to learning how prepare for a season. Our workouts are constructed to build leadership, develop relationships and set goals for the season.”

Many spring sport athletes play another sport. Mattingly favors the new changes, but feels there are still changes needed.

“I think they should limit the time of them. I think they’ve done a good job at extending the dead period, but I think it should even be a little bit longer, just to give kids a rest. As an individual coach I can do that, but then we’re falling behind other teams,” Mattingly said. “So, I think, limit it maybe a little bit more as far as the amount of time before the season starts. Maybe a two-week window, maybe 15 days. Something where every team has the same number of days that they can actually do sport specific workouts.”

For coaches, the new rules can lead to success at the start of the season.

Joyner said, “We will be in better shape come the start of the regular season, and I believe we should be more game-ready to start the season.”