Should Physical Education Be Required for Students Who Play High School Sports?


Chris Grimm, permission for use granted

Lafayette Varsity Soccer celebrates their victory over Montgomery County

The problem at hand is whether physical education should be required for students who play high school sports. Can playing a sport really replace a class of physical education?

A typical sports season for football lasts three months from August to late October, not including any sports that usually span longer and you are required to take physical education for a whole semester which usually spans about fifteen weeks or just over three months. The amount of time required for physical education is the same as the time taken by sports in many cases.

The difference in the time spent each week between both cases is clear. With physical education if we look at the A and B day system, if you had it on an A day and had an A day three times that week the time spent would be four hours. On the other hand, what a sport would require for after-school practice is about three hours of practice each day.Including the school games which can last up to two hours as well as the school competitions added, the time spent for highschool sports is much more than that spent on physical education.

A PBS Student Athlete Time survey, reports student athletes spending up to 21 hours on required activities, while this was a survey on universities the time isn’t far off compared to the ones in high school. Apart from just working longer, there is a clear difference in the workload between sports and physical education.

Playing sports is way more difficult than a physical education class, as well as the clear downsides to physical education are required if you play a high school sport, for example. Since a student is required to do physical education this could severely overwork the student, apart from having a sport a student could also have a job and other outside school extracurriculars like marching band. The PSB Student-Athlete Time Survey also covered their biggest concerns of being a student-athlete, 2 in 3 students said the most challenging aspect is not having enough free time. All of the other factors mentioned would take a greater toll on the students than they already have to deal with being a highschool student and having to maintain grades.

Adding all of these hours together is way too much for a student to handle in a safe manner which defeats the whole purpose of physical education since it is meant to teach students how to be healthy. Another downside is that students could use that block devised for physical education for something that would help them in college or for getting some credits that they are missing to graduate. While some argue that it is the student’s choice like a student at Lafayette High School that chose to remain anonymous who stated ¨It’s up to him to decide.¨ However, it doesn’t justify the downsides involved in physical education being required for said students

Lastly, if sports can get you a full scholarship through college then there is no need for physical education to be required if that is the case. Sports clearly demand more than physical education and have a lot of negatives. With all of this information, however ,the State Board of Ed and the legislature in Kentucky,.have not yet changed anything and there has been no information that they will.