Who qualifies for varsity study hall? It’s arbitrary.

Kylie Brown and Richie Holmberg, Jr.

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How fair are varsity study halls? 

Naperville Central requires three and a half years of physical education. Many students complete all seven required semesters, but many junior and senior student-athletes don’t have to.  Varsity athletes are given the opportunity to replace their normal gym class with a varsity study hall. However, there seems to be some holes in this. This begs the question: who really is a varsity athlete?

Members of the poms team, the Arrowettes,  have faced difficulties receiving a varsity study hall compared to students who participate in other varsity sports. Poms is a full-year sport with both a football season (where they perform during half-time at football games) and competition season (where they compete at IHSA competitions).

You would think that a year-round sport with practices that are extremely time consuming would have varsity study hall both semesters. However, this is not the case. Dancers on the varsity poms team must remain in PE during football season, even though their practice schedule is just as rigorous. From the experiences of many girls on the team, they were not granted a study hall until competition season began.

Some argue that poms isn’t technically considered a sport until their competitive season starts and they participate in IHSA competitions, therefore not making them eligible for a study hall. The flaw in this idea is that even when poms is not in their competition season, they are still having the same amount of practice to not just perform at football games, but to prepare for those competitions. 

In fact, the practice schedules for poms members during football season and competition season are nearly identical. Additionally, they practice just as much, if not more, during their football season when compared to many other sports that qualify for a varsity study hall.

So what, then, is a varsity sport? Obviously, varsity study halls are for varsity athletes. However, that term is broad in the grand scheme of things. If poms is considered an activity and not a sport, then why call it a varsity team at all? It is also important to remember the purpose of a varsity study hall, which is to give committed student athletes a break and allow them to get done what they need to get done.  These are students who are already active outside of school. 

As previously stated, members of the poms team put in hours of their time to do what they do. As a result, they often come home late at night with an abundance of homework to do but little time to do it. 

Being a member of any varsity sports team is a time-consuming achievement. That is why varsity poms, with its rigorous and hard-working agenda, should receive the varsity study hall that they deserve all year round. After all, it’s important to work hard and play hard.