Finding a Balance Between Work and Play

All student athletes, no matter where they attend school, or at what level they play, have to find a balance between schoolwork and sports. Athletes at Orcas Island High School have several extra challenges when it comes to balancing their time. The first challenge is simply the fact that Orcas High School is located on an island with limited ferry service. This makes traveling to away games difficult, as students must catch early ferries to arrive at the host school by the scheduled afternoon game time. Games hosted at Orcas High School are often scheduled early in the afternoon or during school because the visiting athletes have a limited window of time in which to play their game before they need to catch their ferry back to Anacortes. Another challenge that student athletes face is that they are being repeatedly being pulled out of the same class each week. Due to block scheduling, students often miss four out of the five hours of class time per week for a single class. As a result, students regularly go seven days without seeing their teacher. This can go on for several weeks in a row.


– Image Credit: Chris Waage

For the fall season of 2014, the girl’s soccer team used a new method to schedule their games. By working with the Athletic director, the coach and team leaders created a system that allows the girls to miss fewer hours of class time for a single class on a week-to-week basis. Instead of playing games on the same days every week, game days now alternate week by week. For example, one week the girls will miss B day classes, but the next week they will miss A day classes. This gives the players time to meet with their teachers, make up missed work from the previous week, attend lectures, and participate in class activities.

The Viking voice has heard from several student athletes that the imbalance between schoolwork and sports needs to be addressed. We would like to know how wide spread this opinion is, as well as hear student suggestions regarding a solution to the problem. Please let us hear your opinion by answering the following poll questions.

Poll Questions

To participate in the poll click here.

Do you feel that the amount of call time missed due to sports affects your ability to learn and get good grades?

Would it be easier to miss class for sports if games were scheduled on different days each week? (Following the model set by the girl’s soccer team).

Would it be easier to miss class for sports if the class met every day of the week?