Why play out of state teams?


Perry Boys Basketball

Post game team photo after Perry’s win over Cardinal Hayes, a New York team, at Hoophall West. The final score was 78 to 47.

Winter sports teams are going up against out of state teams in the next few weeks. With that, there are many factors as if playing out of state teams affects the performance or attitude of the players. Playing teams that they might not face all of the time could play a part on how confident teams are before and during competition. 

Some of the teams competing out of state are boys basketball facing teams from New York and California on Dec. 9 and 10, wrestling going to Oregon for a tournament from the twenty-eighth to the twenty-ninth of December, and girls basketball going to D.C. for a tournament from the twenty seventh through the thirty-first of December, and boys soccer is competing against a California team on December twentieth. 

The atmosphere around a game against out of state teams is intense, Junior Talon Moody commented, “Teams outside of Arizona have a different play style…We gain a lot of [experience] from those teams.” Those factors cause a change up and need to adapt for athletes.

Sentiments from many players and competitors alike find they treat games against out of state teams no differently than competing against in-state teams. Junior Bennett Kaup, a basketball player, stated, ”There’s no difference as long as you work hard for[the win].” Athletes treat each game the same as the last: competing to be the best and to try their hardest. Kaup also commented, “I like playing out of state teams because it’s a new challenge.” So while the games are treated the same, the way the players view the game changes when facing teams they do not get to face often.

Girls basketball head coach Andrew Curtis viewed out of state games differently. Curtis commented, “Out of state teams are typically more difficult, and our goal is to make the team the best it can be by playing the best in the country. … I think it benefits us to play out of state cause it gives us that experience,” said Curtis

When the team goes out of state for tournaments, they enter neutral territory where Curtis stated, “It feels better to be the hunted and to beat the odds…out of state people are typically rooting against you while instate you might have a few local teams at your back”

Playing out of state teams compared to in-state might be similar because players need to try their best no matter what, but playing out of state teams provided players with a challenge that drove them to play harder. It also provided a more fulfilling reward for winning because when competing out of state, players face stiffer competition from the best in the nation.