BIRMINGHAM ATHLETIC PARTNERSHIP
New Sports Assesment
The Birmingham Athletic Partnership is looking to help and assist the Birmingham City Schools with their plans to add a few additional sports (Golf, Tennis, Swimming, Lacrosse, and Bowling) to their athletic programs. The main reason why they're looking to add these sports is to give the BCS student-athletes who may not play basketball, baseball, football, etc...an opportunity to explore their talents elsewhere. There are a number of schools who are already competing in a few of those sports for the first time this year. For example, Huffman will be the only High School to fill a Boys/Girls Bowling Team within the BCS. Out of those five sports, Lacrosse is the only one that's not sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). With that being said, those kids who are interested in Lacrosse will have to play with the BCS club team that's coached by Yancy Williams. It is important for each high school to make a strong and positive effort in providing these sports for our kids because the more kids we have participating in extracurricular activities, the more kids we have off the streets; and most importantly the more kids we can provide opportunities to further their education and playing careers. Following is an assessment of the current standing for each of these sports at the Birmingham City Schools.
NOTE: We do believe that each of these sports could grow at all of the Birmingham City High Schools if the opportunity to participate was there at each school.
This year we have four Birmingham City Schools (Carver, Huffman, Parker, and Ramsay) who are competing in swimming as individual school teams. They will host all of their events at the Birmingham Crossplex which is the only competition pool in the city. Those four schools all practice together at the Birmingham Crossplex on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour (this time varies). As far as Jackson-Olin, Wenonah, and Woodlawn, based on their athletic directors, there hasn't been any interest in swimming from students on their campus. One significant thing about the Birmingham Crossplex is that every event the Birmingham City School hosts, whether practice or competition, is expense free to them. The BCS just has to schedule their events around the dates in which paying customers have already solidified. The parks and recreation centers around Birmingham who have pools are not regulated nor set up for schools to practice. Listed below is some information pertaining to the startup and schedule of this year's swimming season.
SWIMMING SEASON INFORMATION
· First Practice: August 4, 2014
· First Contest: August 28, 2014
· Sectional Meets (Huntsville, Birmingham, & Mobile): November 21-22, 2014
· State Meet (Auburn): December 12-13, 2014
Bowling is in the first-year as a sanctioned sport for every school in the state of Alabama. The AHSAA has come to terms with a list of 41 local bowling alleys (list following) around the state who have agreed to donate free lane usage, free house shoes, and free house bowling balls for any High School these first two seasons. Out of those 41, there are four in the Birmingham area. In the 2014-2015 season, school teams will have to compete in an intramural type league and for the 2015-2016 season there will be an AHSAA sanctioned Championship format in place for each class and region. There are a total of 55 total schools in Alabama committed for Girls Bowling and a total of 56 schools committed for Boys Bowling this year. Out of those schools, Huffman High is the only Birmingham City School that will compete in both Boys/Girls bowling this season. On a more positive note, there has already been enough interest from students in six of the seven schools to fill teams to compete in bowling within the next two seasons.
BOWLING SEASON INFORMATION
· First allowed practice date: October 27, 2014
· First allowed contest date: November 17, 2014
· End of season: January 31, 2015
· Contest allowed: 12
BOWLING ALLEY USAGE INFORMATION
· For practice, coaches have to call ahead of time and set up a practice time. Practice hours vary between the different alleys. Teams have 2 out of 5 days to practice and one day to compete.
· Bowling Alleys will only provide free balls, shoes, or lane usage if the team is practicing/competing. Individual player practices will not benefit from free services.
· Bowling coach has to be certified. If the coach doesn't work at the school, there must be a faculty member present with the coach.
Golf is a sport that is slowly emerging within the BCS. We currently only have two schools (Carver and Huffman) that will be participating in the sport this school year. Last year Ramsay was the only High School in the Birmingham City that competed in Golf but this year they had to do away with their team because they weren't able to provide enough funds to hire a coach. The problems that most of the Athletic Directors within the BCS are facing, when it comes to adding the sport, are all very similar. They haven't been able to draw interest from students; they don't have the means to provide proper equipment; nor hire quality instructors/coaches.
There are a total of 22 public golf courses in the Birmingham area but only four of those courses are within the limits of our City Schools (list attached). The great thing about those four courses is that they're open and willing to have our schools come in and use their courses to practice and compete. Neither of those four courses had the availability to provide clubs, bags, shoes, etc... for teams to use for practice and competition. On the other hand, there were a few courses who had the capability to provide instructors that'll actually coach a few of our schools. One thing that wasn't available upon request by either course was the cost in relation to using their facilities and instructors. All of those expenses may vary because they're discussed and handled by each individual courses General Managers and the high schools Principals and Athletic Directors.
GOLF SEASON SCHEDULE
· First practice: January 26, 2015
· First contest: February 16, 2015
· Contest allowed 14 (Including Tournaments)
· Sections: April 27-28, 2015
· Sub-States: May 4-5, 2015
· State Tournament: May 11-12, 2015
The BCS currently has two schools (Huffman and Ramsay) who will be competing in Tennis this year. Huffman is looking at playing their homes games at Bradford Park. Ramsay is looking to use either George Ward Tennis Center or Highland Park for all of their home games. On another note, Carver High School will be starting their tennis program next season (2016). They're currently getting the courts on their school grounds up to date with the AHSAA regulations so they'll be able to use for practice and competition when the 2016 season rolls around. Other Athletic Directors aren't making a push for the sport in their schools for several reasons. Some say they need to get their major sports running fluidly first, while others say there's no money available within their school for everything that comes along with adding the sport. The most common fact between them all is that there's just no interest from their students for them to even add tennis. There are a total of six public tennis courts in the City of Birmingham (list attached). According to Kevin Moore (Director of Birmingham Parks & Recreations) some of those courts have lease agreements but for the most part they are available to the BCS to use for practice and competition. On another note, if the park board has needs, those options must be discussed first to prevent it looking as if the BCS is taking over public courts.
TENNIS SEASON SCHEDULE
· First practice: January 12, 2015
· First contest: February 2, 2015
· Contest Allowed: 18 Dates, Plus 3 Tournaments
· Sections: April 13-16, 2015
· State Tournaments: April 20-21/23-24, 2015 (Decatur, Mobile, Montgomery)
Lacrosse is the only sport out of the five listed in this report that is not sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Therefore, they compete as a club team. Because it's not a sanctioned sport, most of the BCS Athletic Directors shy away from looking for kids to play. The Birmingham City is allowed to use any schools name and they can fill a team with kids from each of the seven high schools. For example, there are current Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams playing out of Ramsay High School; they are called the Birmingham Magic/Ramsay Rams. The Boys Team has a little over 25 players on the roster, most of them are students at Ramsay but there are also kids from Carver and Huffman as well. The Girls team is smaller in numbers but they're all Ramsay students; with the exception of a few middle school girls. So instead of them representing Ramsay, they are actually playing in representation of the Birmingham City Schools as an entire system. The Head Coach of this Lacrosse team is Yancy Williams. He is currently working at Green Acres which is one of our inner city middle schools. This will be his sixth season as the teams head coach; and within those years he has put over 25 student-athletes in college on either full or partial scholarships. One of the main issues that he is facing is not having a consistent place to practice. Since the team plays all of their games on the road, he doesn't worry about a home field. He is also looking at making a few additions to his Boys Roster. If so, he will be in need of more equipment in the near future.
LACROSSE SEASON INFORMATION
· Regular Season: February – April
· Playoffs: Late April – Early May