The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

RBHS basketball season short of home games

Photo+of+the+empty+gym+at+RBHS.+
Karl Sobieck
Photo of the empty gym at RBHS.

The RBHS boys and girls basketball teams’ seasons recently commenced with games beginning with the Green & Gold Scrimmage on Nov 14. and 16 respectively. Both teams combined, the Bruins are currently 35 games into the season and have only played five games on RBHS’s home court.

The absence of home games leaves little opportunity for students to engage with their winter sports teams, possibly resulting in a lowered school spirit. Additionally, the factors that come with having a “home court advantage,” such as crowds and venue familiarity are a rarity, which can present a tougher mental state for athletes and interfere with performance. In research from Discover Magazine, scientists found that a home team wins more than half the time and as often as 70% of the time in studies from high school to professional level athletics.

RBHS Athletics Director Michael McGinty explained that this shortage is “not by choice,” and that there are several factors that could account for the lack of basketball home games – the primary reason being that it’s a challenge to convince other teams to make the trip to Columbia. In efforts to schedule a season with “good competition and quality opponents,” according to McGinty, many of the games are matched up against large schools in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield areas, who have their own schedules to fill and enough big schools nearby to do so. 

I prefer home games because it’s exciting to have my friends and family there to cheer me on. I don’t think the location affects our team’s performance, [however], because we are really good at keeping our focus on the game and not the other things around us.”

— Tylor McCallister, junior

“Outside of Battle and Hickman, we have to find games one and a half to three hours away to [play] teams of our size and competition level,” McGinty said. “Teams in the [St. Louis, Kansas City] and Springfield areas have no incentive to come to Columbia to play – primarily because they just don’t have to in order to fill their schedules and because of our own success over the years.”

Junior Tylor McCallister, a member of the varsity girls basketball team, has noticed the lack of home games for the past few years.

“I prefer home games because it’s exciting to have my friends and family there to cheer me on,” McCallister said. “I don’t think the location affects our team’s performance, [however], because we are really good at keeping our focus on the game and not the other things around us.”

Some, like freshman Addie Eatherton on the junior varsity girls team, enjoy aspects of the away game surplus. 

“I prefer away games because the bus rides are fun [for] hanging out with teammates,” Eatherton said. “I don’t think the location of games impacts my performance, […] I don’t necessarily play better or worse at a specific location.”

In the upcoming months,S girls basketball will play seven home games out of 27 total remaining while boys basketball will face 14 opponents at home out of the 46 remaining games, including the courtwarming game against Helias on Feb. 23. Despite their infrequency, home games offer an exciting and spirited environment for RBHS players and fans.

Are you going to attend the varsity girls’ home game tonight? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Contributors
Ava Beary, Staff Writer
Senior Ava Beary is a staff writer for SouthPaw and Bearing News. She is a member of the RBHS Cross Country, Swim and Dive, and Track & Field teams, as well as the Communications Chair for both Student Council and NHS. In her free time, she's sleeping.
Karl Sobieck, Staff Photographer
Junior Karl Sobieck is a staff photographer for Southpaw and Bearing News at RBHS. 

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