Bonding rules change to prevent hazing

Lily Gustafson, sports editor

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To have a successful team, good chemistry is a must. But starting this year, team bonding has gotten harder.

Shorewood and Shorecrest teams and clubs are no longer allowed to have team bonding without a coach present nor are they allowed to make t-shirts for each other. District administration has established new rules regarding team bonding, with the goal of stopping hazing.

“We have always had rules about hazing but we have tightened them up to make sure there is no form of what someone could consider humiliating,” said Assistant Principal Elaine Swanson.

As times change, so do rules. “I think in society we are more aware of this (issue),” Swanson said of the new regulations.

The new rules have affected some teams more than others. SW volleyball is one of the more affected teams.

“I think the limitations and restrictions the new rules place on teams is limiting the amount of time they spend together off the court, which affects team chemistry,” said volleyball head coach Jennifer Chartrand.

When volleyball had team bonding, it wasn’t like it had been in past years. “I feel like it wasn’t the same,” junior volleyball captain Delaney Hopen said. “It felt like another practice.”

The frustration the volleyball team is feeling isn’t just from the players. “I understand the need and desire to keep hazing situations from happening, but I feel with good leadership from coaches and captains and mutual respect for teammates these instances wouldn’t take place,” Chartrand said.

Out on the tennis courts, the boys’ tennis team hasn’t felt the impacts of the rules as much. “It hasn’t really affected us at all because we don’t do much team bonding,” said senior tennis captain Cameron McDowell.

But during practice, it does impact the tennis squad. “Our coach is very strict with freshman hazing. If we try to make the freshmen pick up the balls he will say, ‘No

“Our coach is very strict with freshman hazing. If we try to make the freshmen pick up the balls he will say, ‘No don’t do that,’” McDowell said.”

don’t do that,’” McDowell said.

The girls’ swim team does do team bonding and they recently all got together with coach Susie McDowell present. “It was fine. We have Susie as a coach and she’s super chill about things… but it limits what you can say at times,” said senior captain Hye Joo Ro.

A common tradition among sports teams was to wake new varsity members up early and take them to breakfast before school. “This has been something they’ve always done with parents’ permission and we have never had an issue,” Chartrand said. “(The team was) disappointed that the tradition could not be continued.”

While athletes may see the negatives regarding the new restrictions, there are good intentions behind them. Athletic Director Vicki Gorman said: “We don’t want to take the fun out of everything, but if anything has been harmful to someone…we want to eliminate that.”

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Bonding rules change to prevent hazing