The SJB Athletic Ministry Board has decided to adopt an age-based framework for participation in all Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) sports officially starting with CYO Fall 2016 Soccer. (The Board experimented with an age-based framework for CYO Baseball, and it worked well.) The Board's decision was not reached lightly; in fact, it has been three years in the making. The CYO formerly switched from a grade-based framework to an age-based framework in 2013. Initially, SJB and other parishes resisted the change and clung to the grade-based decision making; however, by 2015-2016, SJB was one of the few parishes still using grades as a framework for forming teams. SJB, like other parishes, has come to realize the benefit of using an age-based framework: the flexibility to maximize participation in CYO sports programs.
SJB strives to create conditions that maximize participation in CYO sports programs in a fun, faith-based environment. Increasingly, the Board has found through discussions with coaches, parents, and representatives from other parishes that SJB's players were routinely playing against players who were eligible to play in a division based on age, but were actually one grade higher. SJB's adherence to the grade-based framework has put our parish kids in situations that were competitively out of balance. SJB wants to field competitive teams that encourage our parish kids to continue to participate in CYO sports and fellowship together. Regarding registration, the goal for SJB CYO Athletics is to form as many teams as possible based on the number of registered participants. Our various sports commissioners have recognized that it is far easier to invite or assign kids to "play up," as opposed to asking them to "play down." Using ages to form teams provides a better, more flexible starting point for building rosters. It also allows SJB's teams to "match up" with their opponents and level the playing field.
The Board realizes that this will take some adjustment for kids and parents -- especially for those in the upper grades (fifth through eighth) -- so thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Please contact SJB Athletic Director Mike Diokno or other board members if you have questions about the new framework.
Finally, SJB will continue to form teams by grades for all SJB intramural sports, including Little Feet Soccer, Flag Football, Intramural Basketball, Volleyball, and Teeball.