Playing school sports is an exciting and engaging thing to do, but what if students are looking for an environment that is more relaxed, enjoyable and isn’t demanding of their time? The answer is a recreational sports program or league. The differences between a school sport and a recreational sport are large.
A “rec” league is a recreation league that the community usually organizes such as a town or city hall. Coaches for the rec league are all volunteers from the community, such as parents whose kids are playing. Rec leagues are where you can play in a less serious environment, for fun and to learn the basics and fundamentals of a sport. Bryce Kelly, a student of Bellevue College who played for his high school tennis team for two years, explained why he prefers recreation leagues. “I’d rather play rec games because I didn’t like having to practice every day after school, where in the rec league we had practice once a week and then a game,” said Kelly.
An official school league is where a student of BC for example, decides to play for one of the schools programs, such as soccer or basketball. Playing sports for an official school is an experience like no other as you represent your school and are both physically and mentally challenged. Varuna Bridgers, a second year student at BC, has played both recreational and school sports in his life.
Bridgers explained why he prefers school leagues over rec. “School leagues are definatly more competitive and you’re more rewarded for you hard efforts,” Bridgers said. “On the downside of school leagues you only have a certain amount of time before you’re unable to play, such as graduation from a high school, or your four years of collegiate play.” The coaches of a school team are usually teachers, although some have part time jobs outside of the school and are paid to coach.
Coaches for rec are always volunteers of the community, such as parents. With recreation, there is no timestamp as there will always be people of different age groups organizing and planning leagues for fun.
The prominent differences between a school league and a rec league are why they play. “Rec is more of, everybody go have fun,” said Bridgers. Rec leagues are designed for instruction and a loose playing field where mistakes aren’t as costly and are explained to correct what was wrong. School leagues play to win, as winning gives the school media attention and money. School games are more closely followed, not just by family and friends, but also by the media, such as TV news stations and newspapers.
The rec league games hardly have more than a fan base of family and friends. Playing for a school can get expensive, as more often than not you have to pay for multiple items such as equipment or tournaments. Lastly, with rec there is no forward progress. Once you complete a season, it is over for the year. For an official league sport, a student can receive athletic scholarships to private and big name colleges.
If students are looking for people to know their name, a chance to prove yourself and a thrill like no other, then school sports is the place the for them. If students are interested in just a relaxing time playing a few games with friends while learning and laughing, then recreational leagues are their best bet.