Our opinion: SportsFest formula needs to be changed to prevent falling participation

So whoopty-doo, Hecht wins SportsFest again. Who would have guessed it? Better lobbies, better athletes, hotter freshmen girls, they have it all. But it does beg the question: thousands of students and hundreds of teams, and not one year could any of them break through?

It’s hard to believe the best athletes have resided in Hecht for the last eight years (and Stanford for the six before that). Participation is a major part of the formula which decides the ultimate SportsFest champion, and no matter the year, Hecht has gotten the best of it. Of course participation is part of winning, but the freshman towers have a natural advantage at that. As freshman, they’re much less likely to be employed than upperclassmen residents. They all live together in a shared environment (those communal bathrooms really can build teams on their own), and honestly, what else do freshmen have to do but come outside and play with their friends? We wish we had that kind of time.

And now we head down a slippery slope. Teams that aren’t Hecht constantly see Saturday night leads eviscerated, creating a (well-founded) feeling that there’s no way to win. So why show up at all? Participation decreases, and the gap between the top and the bottom grows. That’s like cutting off the legs of someone has no feet, it’s just not fair.

Is there a way we can make it fair? Perhaps the SportsFest formula needs to be reconfigured, providing less advantage for stellar participation. Or, to have the best of both worlds, maybe there should be a two-title system, one featuring pure competition totals (like the NHL’s President’s Trophy) and one overall winner (like the Stanley Cup). No matter the solution, let’s come up with a system that rewards the best team and not just the one with the most bodies.

February 8, 2009


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

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