Thursday, March 19, 2009

Western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma League Idea

Over the last few years, we have heard grumblings that "isolated" schools can't catch up with the schools that live in metro areas or areas like NW Arkansas. The claims are that the areas of the state with clusters of same size schools use the summer 7-on-7 season to fine tune offenses and work on defenses against spread defenses while the isolated schools are stuck with weight training and conditioning. We recently discussed what we would do as coaches in these areas.

To make it a concrete example of our options, we had a brainstorming session a few weeks back over how teams might create 7-on-7 leagues in the area around Booneville, Waldron, Mena, and Mt. Ida. To start, we listed the schools that we know play football in the area. Here was the list:
  • Waldron
  • Mansfield
  • Booneville
  • Hartford
  • Magazine
  • Greenwood
  • Heavener (OK)
  • Mena
  • Mt. Ida
  • Poteau (OK)
  • Paris
  • Charleston
  • Ozark
Next, we put together a mileage table (below) between the towns. Using the mileage table, we looked at the average distance (and standard deviation), median distance, and the maximum distance for each town (possible host). Finally, we looked at the results to choose a town as the host school that would minimize travel time for the entire "league" that we were creating in this thought experiment.

Here is what we found. Waldron is ideally situated to minimize travel time for a 14 team league (Waldron + the 13 others). Here are the distances:
  • Average Distance: 37.9 miles (+/- 11.0 miles)
  • Median Distance: 35 miles
  • Maximum Distance: 60 miles
One interesting thing that falls out of the table above is a natural time scheduling for divisions within the league. Division 1 would be Waldron plus the 3 schools with travel distances less than 30 miles. Division 2 would have the 5 schools with travel distances to Waldron between 30 and 40 miles. Finally, Division 3 would have the 5 schools with travel distances greater than 40 miles. By making these divisions, you could schedule an early game between the Division 1 teams to allow the Division 2 and 3 teams extra travel time before their games. Inter-division games would be done in middle part of the evening schedule, and you would finish the night with the remaining games between Division 1 teams.

While we have not floated this idea to the coaches in the area, we think that putting this straw man out there at this time is a good idea. There are relatively new coaches at some of the schools (and there may be other schools not listed) that would want to get a jump on the offensive practice that 7-on-7 leagues allow.

Let us know what you think. What are the strengths and weaknesses? How could this idea be improved?

No comments:

Post a Comment