No credits for outside athletics

Academic recognition of outside sports is a hassle

By Eden Pollitt

Photo by Claire Torii
Participating in school sports counts for school PE credits, while few competitive sports do not

Many students on the HHS campus participate in school sports, as well as after-school competitive sports. For competitive soccer, I have three practices a week and one or two games on the weekend, not including tournaments, which can be three to four days with up to eight games total.

Like many student athletes, I dedicate a significant portion of my time to a sport, and some students’ sports require a larger time commitment than others. Unfortunately, my eight-to-ten hour weekly commitment does not immediately count towards the HHS PE requirements. Although outside athletics should count for HHS credits, the numerous hoops that needed to be jumped through in order to receive such credit are not worth it and the requirements should be more easy to access.

Currently it is required that high schoolers obtain one year of PE credits because there is certain curriculum that is not taught in any other classes.

“The state mandates [ninth grade physical education] and the district itself has placed swim, and the anti-drug, anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco unit in with the freshman curriculum,” Athletic Director Lisa Nakamatsu said.

But what about the remaining ten credits needed in order to graduate? Most students at HHS gain those necessary credits through additional PE classes or school sports. But many HHS athletes are also athletes for competitive sports outside of school. This leads many of them to question why their rigorous sports are not counting towards school PE credits.

“There are specific requirements you have to have … one of them is international travel, you have to be on a team, it can’t be an individually based sport. There are all kinds of tics for tacs that you have to make sure you hit all the boxes on before they can give you outside PE credit,” Nakamatsu said.

The truth of the matter is that is possible to get credit for outside athletics, but the amount of extra work needed to receive ten credits is not worth it. Students looking to receive credits have to follow rigid  requirements that are time-consuming for both the student and staff.

According to the California Department of Education, the student athlete would have to participate in a sport on the approved list of athletic activities, and the likelihood of a sport meeting all the necessary standards is very slim. Additionally, it is very hard to find any information on the topic of high school athletics. When doing research,  even our best resource, Athletic Director Lisa Nakamatsu,was only able to provide a few examples off the top of her head.

If students feel that it is worthwhile to allocate time aside to invest into making sure their sport counts for HHS credits, then it is definitely something that should be pursued. However, you may need to speak directly to the athletic directors as there is little information available online about this topic.

The amount of time it consumes for the student and administration to check that the competitive sport is eligible is an investment on both parties. For me, personally, the total amount of effort is not worthwhile, and the process should be made more accessible to the public.