Some notes about JV that have become apparent to me this year (I'm more familiar with the JV girls side but the boys side is probably similar):
- AA JV is problematic in that if you want to be developmental from a smaller school its it fine, but being competitive tends to have more to do with the number of older/experienced players you have rather then skill. For example the Devon Park JV girls were one of the hardest working and disciplined teams in AA girls this year but only won 2-3 games at that level simply because they were out athleted by older stronger kids in almost every situation. On the other hand Southern Vic girls have won the last 3 JV titles and had no players younger then grade 9 on their team during that run while every other team has had middle school aged kids.
- The amount of travel due to the small number of teams also makes it less appealing in terms of competition for the stronger teams at AA JV. Teams like JMA, Fundy, SVHS, SSHS etc. can field age appropriate teams that can compete with low and mid level AAA jv teams and some varsity teams can play more games locally by registering exhibition vs. = or better competition. The double edged sword being, if these teams did not register JV, then there would likely be no JV leagues and the weaker teams would have no where to play as they would likely not register AAA JV with teams made up mostly of grade 7-8 kids.
- I'm trying to think back, and other then large AAA schools (FHS etc), I can't think of many if any JV title winners in recent memory that have translated into varsity titles. Yet the general population seems to be under the notion that if kids play together, through the grades rather then at their competitive level it will some how translate into success based on them playing together with their friends. So you end up with teams that can succeed at a JV level because the best aged class players at other schools are playing varsity younger, and then at the end of their high school careers these teams don't compete as well because they picked up bad habits just being more developed physically then their opposition.
- Different beliefs lead to a disparity in expectations of coaches, players, parents and leagues at the JV level. If a basketball community like Woodstock high school can't offer a JV girls or boys team because of inability to compete or lack of players to develop properly their is an issue. Some schools do not allow 9-10's to play varsity, others do put leave it up to players/parents rather then coaches, other play kids where they are selected and expected. This turns a Jv league into a mismash of coaching levels, players levels, and expectations. Which also seems to lead to more problems with parent expectations, coaches expectations and reactions to wins and losses depending on the score. I frequently heard the phrase " but its just jv" uttered by players, parents, coaches and officials in answer to a variety of issues - yet no one seems to have a clear idea (other then their own) of what JV should be.
- AAA JV and AA JV are very different entities. AAA JV is more like a younger varsity division with similar grades, kids, and teams playing as they've seen through middle school and will again in varsity. AA JV has kids from grades 6-10 at a mix of schools who are trying to run secondary programs to build or develop their players or program. So each team every year seems to be at a different place and there are large swings in who is up and down and what players each school fields where.
In a nutshell each school has to do what is best for them with considerations to protecting and saving JV leagues that the rules abolish if you run out of teams. I hope with that in mind the AD's, communities and principals listen to their coaches and local basketball leaders in terms of what they need and who should play where rather then just trusting biased advice or easy divisions just by grade.