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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

High school all-star game changes good

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association and Louisiana High School Coaches Association recently announced changes in their All-Star games.
After this year, the All-Star weekend of footall, basketball and volleyball games will no longer be held at LSU. The LHSAA/LHSCA's officially sanctioned football game will be the Bayou Bowl, a game between Louisiana and Texas All-Stars, in Baytown, Texas. The basketball and volleyball coaches' associations will likely stage their all-star games a week after their respective seasons are finished.
This is a good move.
Interest in the All-Star weekend, held traditionally in July, has waned over the years. Tiger Stadium looks virtually empty with the around 3,500 to 4,000 fans the football game usually draws. Top players in football and basketball often don't play for a variety of reasons ranging from fear of injury to commitments to national all-star games. There always seems to be a scramble to find replacement players.
Under the new format, the basketball and volleyball games will be played while interest in the sports is still high. Of course, they will also be anticlimatic so soon after the state tournaments.
Participating in the football game will be more of an honor with fewer spots available.
This is not say interest in the games will soar, but the LHSAA/LHSCA had to do something. The alternative would have been to let the games simply die.

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