By GARRETT SEARIGHTError, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 15)
Traditionally, the Thursday night high school basketball schedule strictly consists of girls games. However, every year, the Green Meadows Conference plays their first three boys basketball conference games on Thursday nights. It’s a unique feature that many local conferences would never even consider.
When teams play back-to-backs on Friday and Saturday, they generally focus on their conference game all week, and then prep for their Saturday game on Saturday morning.
In theory, Thursday night games are a great idea. It gives teams a chance to have a day of rest and the ability to practice/prepare for a Saturday night game on Friday, an advantage most of their opponents don’t have.
“I think it gives you a better opportunity to win Saturday games mainly because of prep time and freshness of your players,” Antwerp’s Doug Billman said. “Is it a distinct advantage? I don’t believe so but it certainly does help.”
“I do not like Thursday night games! It hurts attendance and changes the routine of your weekly practice schedule,” Fairview head coach Rob Mahnke said. “I am a believer that during the week is when you put your practice and work in, and on the weekend is when you are supposed to show case your talent and play.
Billman had a different take. “Personally, I don’t mind it. I do like some of the positives. But having said that, if we would play all Friday league games, that would be ok with me, but if we would play all Thursday league, I would not like that. The nostalgia of playing a big league game on a Friday night is what makes high school boys basketball so great.”
Wayne Trace has only lost one conference game the last two years, but head coach Jim Linder says he’s split on whether he likes Thursday night games.
“We are use to it now, as we have done it that way for at least 15 years. It is good for our girls to not always have to play on the week nights. As for the Athletic Director in me, on a Thursday night we do lose a little attendance because there is a good chance that our junior high teams are playing the same night so as a result our attendance is down some nights and as a result, so is the revenue.”
One coach did tell me that a hidden advantage of playing on Thursday nights was getting in a routine for tournament time.
“Chances are, the majority of your games in the tournament won’t be on a Friday night. So playing frequently on week nights makes your kids more used to getting ready to play at 6:15 on a Tuesday or Thursday.”
Hicksville coach Tony Tear couldn’t care less when the Aces have to take the court.
“Overall, I’d say the atmosphere is better on Friday night just due to the attendance. But honestly for me, I’ll play whenever they tell me to!”Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 15)