Monday, June 15, 2009

Big Seven to start at 7 p.m.

Chartiers-Houston played at Fort Cherry in the 2008 regular season finale for both WPIAL playoff-bound Class A football teams. Bad weather, a plethora of incomplete passes and a running back who continually ran out of bounds protecting the lead were key contributors to the game running late.

It's 9:30 p.m. with no end in sight; 9:45, 10, 10:10. Finally, the game ended near 10:30 p.m. Following a couple brief post-game interviews, this reporter headed back toward any area where wireless Internet may be available.

Then came the next snag.

A wreck between Fort Cherry High School and Hickory forced traffic to be re-routed. Suddenly, it's nearing 11 p.m. and I'm driving through McDonald. Getting my story filed and sent by 11:25 or 11:30 was not looking good.

That's just one of the many, many reasons media outlets covering high school football throughout Western Pennsylvania are praising the decision made the Class AAA Big Seven Conference and a few other WPIAL teams to push games up 30 minutes, from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Ringgold and Trinity are among the schools experimenting with the early start. Kudos to both, and not because it helps the media make deadline on a hectic Friday night. (Though it's greatly appreciated.)

Other positives include:
1. The 11 p.m. deadline on junior licenses;
2. Saturday morning college boards;
3. Saturday morning junior varsity games;
4. Time for adults who attend games to hit their favorite post-game place before the kitchen closes.

As Trinity coach Ed Dalton said, "We honestly had trouble coming up with any disadvantage."

Ringgold coach Lloyd Price also offered a few other positives including missing traffic delays en route to away games.

"We also feel this will give us more exposure," said Price. "We didn't want to use that as a driving force but it was a factor."


Anonymous said...

TJ will stay at 7:30

Anonymous said...

stop cryin about stop whats wrong with 7:30

mike_kovak said...

Don't think I was crying, just stating my opinion.

Nothing wrong with 7:30 but I feel 7 p.m. is better.

coach99 said...

With that early of a start...most teams will not even be able to leave school and get home for a quick break. Will all the teams be fed dinner at school now?

Anonymous said...

im not sure there is a ride in the big 7 more than 1 hour im not sure getting home is a problem

Anonymous said...

The comment about not being able to come home from school for a 7 p.m. game is not true. Most schools in Wash-Greene let their students out around 3 p.m. Buses get most students home by 4 p.m., three hours before kickoff and at least an hour before most coaches want their players at the stadium for the game.

Most people leave work by 5 so there won't be a problem in getting to games.

Away games with 7:30 starts were OK when teams ran the football more than they do today. I don't remember a game going to 10:30 when I played a while back. Now, that's the norm.

I also wonder how many kids illegally drove home from games because they got back late.

This is a good idea.

coach99 said...

Yes, the home game at 7 if ok, but if you are going to an away game that starts at 7 you are really rushed. Most coaches would want to be at the away field no later than 5 for a 7 start..maybe earlier. You have to tape, dress, stretch and be off field for the Band pregame. What time will the buses leave to get to the other school before 5? Just will be really rushed and a ride on a school bus is not the most comfortable thing to experience on some two lane winding roads to get to some of the venues.

Anonymous said...

Good news for Trinity, they can get their annual beating from TJ and get home and in bed earlier to heal up for their JV game.

Anonymous said...

It is my guess the football teams will miss some class time in order to get to games. The busses leave a 4 for 7:30 games.
They will now have to leave at 3:30.

Anonymous said...

What teams let their kids go home from school on game days? Are you serious? Your teams dont eat together on Fridays? Home or away doesnt matter...really? They go home? Teams should never go home on a football friday. They should be together, eat together, etc.

About the 7 pm thing, that scenario you mentioned about a long game and then a wreck and then a swarm of locusts...that was a one time thing, its not like it happens every Friday night. Games typically end by 945 or 10 at the latest around the WPIAL. The problem I see with a 7 pm start are parents trying to get to the games after working all day. I think thats going to be a challenge. Not to mention making sure the officials are there on time for those games because those folks are coming from work also.

Anonymous said...

Stop complaining. If you can get to a Pirates game at 7 p.m., you can get to a high school football game at 7 p.m.

Anonymous said...

who goes to see the Pirates? Really? Are you serious? The Pirates? what are they? I've heard about them before? They are the minor league baseball team in town right?