Junior varsity player development has lost its value

Too many players and the advent of floaters kill the development of players


Jackson Ploeger

The junior varsity football team takes the field at Princess Anne.

Junior varsity sports exist to develop freshman and sophomore players so they can help the varsity team win when they are on the team. As time passes, the value of developing players at the junior varsity level significantly decreased.  

For one, many of the players who practice with the junior varsity team on a day-to-day basis never play on the field. This is the result of many JV teams simply not cutting enough kids during tryouts. For example, last season JV baseball had over 20 players. Many of these players hardly got any valuable playing time.  

Playing time is the biggest factor in player development, and many players simply don’t get the opportunities to play.

Another factor practiced by some teams that takes away the opportunities of playing development of JV players is the advent of floaters.

Floaters are players who practice and play with the varsity team, but also play with the JV team. These players often get the better coaching at the varsity level along with the extra playing time at the junior varsity level.

“Kids who are not a the varsity threshold play with junior varsity and practice with varsity in hopes they get: a better skillset, bigger, faster, and stronger,” said assistant football coach Ashton Thoroughgood.

This helps floaters, and that’s about it. It doesn’t help other junior varsity players because they lose some of their invaluable playing time. The varsity team isn’t benefited because their future starters don’t currently play at the junior varsity level therefore aren’t developed in the way they should.  

Floaters hurt the goal of player development at the junior varsity level and eventually hurts the goal of winning at the varsity level. Since they hurt the team, floaters should stay on varsity or always be with junior varsity.