Fair Play: Is it time to fix Cviraa's broken reinforcement system?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's May 11 edition)
CENTRAL Visayas, after finishing at fourth place in every Palaro since god knows when, dropped to sixth place this year.
Going into the Palaro in Tagum, Cviraa’s Vivian Ginete told Sun.Star Cebu that they would be relying on the team events to get that much-needed medals to get ahead in the standings. They didn’t get it, and now, one of Central Visayas’ key strategies for next year according to

Victor Yntig, the team manager, is to ask DepEd to adopt the core medal system for parity.

I think that’s not what is broken.

The fact that Cviraa has zero medals in the team event this year is proof that there’s something wrong with how Cviraa is going about its team selection. Coaches don’t have the final say.

Weeks before the meet, one football coach was worried about a reinforcement from Bohol, who hasn’t even showed up for training. I was told it was same problem in the other team events, which always lead to problems in chemistry.

Yntig told Marian Baring of Sun.Star Cebu that he saw how hard the athletes worked. And it’s true. They all worked hard, and he must have seen that hard work in the week prior the meet when the delegation was already in the Palarong Pambansa.

But, sorry sir, it’s not the hard work a week before the Palarong Pambansa that determines which team makes it to the final, but the hard work in the weeks prior to the Cebu City Olympics, or Municipal Meet that determines it. I told the coach who was worried about that missing reinforcement--how ironic--to why not drop him altogether?

He said, “Basi masuko ang mga officials.”

That was the same sentiment in other events, he told me. But one determined basketball coach once told officials, after his team that won the regional meet was decimated by all the recommended reinforcments, that he won’t coach in the Palaro because his “reinforced team” has become weaker than the original one.

The problem of Cviraa’s practice of forcing coaches to get reinforcements is that it takes away the final choice from the coach, who knows best what his team needs.

And besides, the best team is almost always better than the team of best players culled from the other teams.

Coaches know best and I think it’s time Cviraa gives them that authority in team selection. For years, it has languished at fourth, perhaps, next year it’s time to try a new tactic?

Let the coaches decide.

Give them the final say.

What harm could that do?

If they decide to go solid, let them have that choice. Don’t pressure them to take in reinforcements who, ironically, sometimes don’t really reinforce the team.

As for football, instead of pushing for the core medal system, here’s one thing the Cviraa officials can help—push for an 18-man squad, which is the standard. In DepEd meets, there’s only a 15-man squad, leaving a coach with only three real substitutes, which isn’t enough. Why three, well, one of the four subs has to be your second keeper and you’d be crazy to go to a meet with only one.

DepEd meets aren’t player-friendly, and your subs has to be as good as your starters, which again highlights the need for a coach to be able to have the final say in player selection.

He has to know the player enough and getting him just two weeks before the meet isn’t enough.

Cviraa’s system is broken. Will the officials have the courage to fix it?

Sadly, we’ll know only after the City Olympics next school year, when the teams get weak as the coaches have to accept a reinforcement.


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