A junior varsity football team is not a major team in competition in high school. In the US, many of these junior varsity teams have freshman and sophomore players, although there may be instances where upperclassmen play on the team. However, it is possible for freshmen and sophomores to play at the varsity level, especially if they are physically matured and skilled.
The Need for Junior Varsity Football Players
A coaching staff chooses the members of the junior varsity football team. These underclassmen have less ability or experience than their varsity counterparts. Therefore, the coaching team hones their talents and skills to be able to compete at the varsity level. Sometimes, a highly-talented first-year student can play at the varsity level.
Some varsity teams require their members to come from the junior varsity teams. Also, the junior varsity football players can play as backup players to the varsity team. Most varsity football teams have coaches develop the talents of players in the junior varsity.
When does a Junior Varsity Football Player Play?
If a varsity player is disqualified due to a violation, is not playing well, or is injured, the coach may call on of the junior varsity football player to play. Sometimes, this junior player can have more playing time or allowed to play on the varsity team full time if he performs well.
The coach will decide who among the junior varsity players will play. Usually, the decision depends on the remaining time in a game, the strategy of the coach, the situation of the game, and the point margin. In most cases, if the team players are inexperienced, the coach will prioritize his main players to hone their skills further.
Sometimes, if the winning is ahead by a large margin, both coaches will use the junior players for the rest of the varsity game. The junior varsity football players will try to impress their coaches to gain more playing time in the future. Also, the coaches allow their junior players to play to reduce the risk of serious injury on their varsity players.
Scheduled Games for Junior Varsity Football Teams
Junior varsity football games are scheduled events that allow the players to hone their skills and gain experience. Sometimes, their games occur before a varsity game. In some cases, the games are played on a Saturday morning.
One year of playing for a junior varsity football team can bring a wealth of experience to the players. If they perform well within the year, they may become varsity players in the future. The varsity team’s head coach often attends the games to scout for players.
Sometimes, the junior varsity team travels with the varsity team. A large school with funds can allow their junior teams to go with the varsity team in their out-of-town games. Also, it may decide to alternate the schedules to ensure that at least one team plays at home weekly. If the varsity game is of little or no importance, the school may decide to send the whole junior varsity team to compete.