Why so many?

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Why so many?

Postby JH PACER COACH » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:39 pm

I'm confused. Why in the private sector of high school football do we have so many different leagues? I mean TAPPS, TCAL, TCAF, TAIAO, and Independent leagues. I know that some leagues will let you play homeschoolers and some will not. Which brings me to my next question, why do they not have a league for just homeschoolers? I've been around some programs that let homeschoolers play and in some instances it seems like an uneven playing field. Are there different ways to grade and check up on homeschoolers versus students who actually attend a school and are graded by teachers in classrooms, and not by their moms and dads, who sware that little Johnny who is 19 going on 20 is still eligible because he has half a semester left in underwater basketweaving?
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Re: Why so many?

Postby SWRaider » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:52 pm

Isn't that what TAIAO is, basically a homeschool league?
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Re: Why so many?

Postby granger » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:26 am

Why?

It goes back a long time. Many years ago there was TCIL and TAPPS. Then TAPPS hired a well-known retired coach named Edd Burleson, who was able to merge the two. As an old small town AD and coach, Burleson was able to bring these groups together... for the most part.

Of course there are people who either don't like the rules or don't want to play by the rules. They cloak their decision is some religious difference. Nowadays, this can include educational differences. Groups want a chance to win. They cannot win in the 'large' environment. They start their own organization.

I am not saying anyone is wrong or right in this, but this is how it happens. Disagreements among a group, someone not wanting to play against someone else and creating their own little group.
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Re: Why so many?

Postby JH PACER COACH » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks Granger. That explanation helps a little. To me it's just sad when it has to do more with winning, the parents, coaches, and pride of these, than teaching the students how to compete and win correctly on and off the field.
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Re: Why so many?

Postby FCSA football » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:03 pm

Pacer Coach: Granger is right about everyone EXCEPT Independents. We don't belong to any league, conference, etc. This gives us just what we are called, Independence. We play according to UIL rules and regulations without an additional 100 pages of rules and regulations written by who knows who and for who knows whatever reasons. We don't have to pay dues, fees or any other expenses to some entity run by people we probably don't know that well in the first place. Birth Certificates and Certificates of Insurance are about the only requirements.
We also don't HAVE to play anyone. We can pick and choose the teams that work best for us. Maybe it is based on just how far they are away, how big of a school they are, sportsmanship or whatever. Independents are Public Schools, Private Schools, Faith Based Schools and Home School programs. Independents have many reasons they don't belong to a Conference or League. It may be the time going into November and beyond doesn't fit their overall, limited athletic budget or that some, or most of the kids go on to other activities such as basketball, or their jobs, or responsibilities on the farm or ranch.
One drawback has been a lack of a final post season opportunity for the kids on the Independent teams.
That is about to be changed this year however, with the inauguration of the Texas Independent Sixman Football Bowl Series. It will be a one and done series of bowl games where teams are paired based on the season's final rankings of Sixman.com. Being an Independent isn't for everyone but it works well for us.
If you are interested in finding out more, please call me at 979-203-6765.
Best of Luck on your season and God Bless you for your efforts to make a difference and improve the lives of kids.
" Everything we do for ourselves in this life, when we die, we take it with us. Everything we do for others, we leave behind."
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Re: Why so many?

Postby Cherry5 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:11 pm

Its been 3 years but when i was in the private school world the main differences was...

TAPPS- NO homeschool Teams or KIDS allowed
TCAF- NO homeschool teams but allowed a percentage of homeschool kids on a private school team
TCAL- allowed all home school teams and players

at the time there was no TIAIO but i believe they took the same stance as TCAL in allowing all
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Re: Why so many?

Postby CoachJS » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:35 am

One other point to remember, some really small school programs have to supplement their ranks with homeschoolers or they can't have a program, period. They just flat out don't have the numbers available. If a team only has 4 or 5 players, they flat out can't have a team unless they add a couple homeschoolers. This happens.
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Re: Why so many?

Postby coachamiller » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:17 pm

CoachJS wrote:One other point to remember, some really small school programs have to supplement their ranks with homeschoolers or they can't have a program, period. They just flat out don't have the numbers available. If a team only has 4 or 5 players, they flat out can't have a team unless they add a couple homeschoolers. This happens.


Tyler King's Academy coach here, and I completely agree. We would hardly ever field a team if we didn't include homeschoolers; just an unfortunate reality for us as a small private school. We are currently in TCAL, and they work really well with us in allowing as many homeschoolers as we need to field a team. Very grateful to TCAL.

As far as the different leagues, we have been in TCAF and TCAL, and I know teams around our area who are in TAPPS and TAIAO. Here's what I understand as far as the reasons for all the leagues:

TCAF: Dallas/Fort Worth based. Very similar to TCAL, but with a little more structure (we dropped out due to their 25% limit on homeschoolers per sport). Very regionally based.

TCAL: San Antonio/Houston based. Not a whole lot of rules/restrictions compared to other leagues. The main sport emphasized by far in TCAL is basketball (which some teams don't like), and they get a lot of prep schools with Division 1 recruits on the top-division teams. Very fun state tournament to watch.

TAIAO: San Antonio/Austin based. A lot of TCAL teams moved to TAIAO since the focus in TAIAO is 100% on football, at least from what I've heard. Also heard it's very organized and structured.

TAPPS: The league everyone wants to be in, but some regret once joining. I know a few teams who had to drop their football program after moving from a "homeschool" league to TAPPS. Just didn't have the numbers.
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Re: Why so many?

Postby freeagent » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:37 am

Partly because private schools are a hard-to-control breed, kind of like herding cats.

Until about 10 years ago, TAPPS used to have a program where schools could allow home school participation. The school had to apply to TAPPS to participate in the program and there was a lot of paperwork.

We used to have a few kids in the program, about every 6 or 9 weeks we'd have to provide TAPPS a binder on each of these kids that would document academic progress and that data would be reviewed by educators identified by TAPPS, the idea is that a kid couldn't just say they were being homeschooled and not being educated (which, sadly, happens ... ask the public school administrator who has to deal with a kid at the age of a HS junior that is far behind his or her grade level and the parents are now expecting the public school to deal with their educational missteps; it happens).

The program was mildly popular with the smallest of the TAPPS schools, but maybe no more than 20 or 30 of the 250 TAPPS schools participated at any one time. The larger schools really didn't like the program, there were a couple instances of almost entire teams (usually in sports like cross country and swimming) being mostly homeschool participants.

There were several votes among membership to discontinue the program and they usually failed (I think it needed a 2/3 vote), but sometime around 2006, the vote was presented in a way that allowed TAPPS to operate a separate "home school division" that would include home school groups AND schools participating in the homeschool program. That proposal was approved by the membership.

I remember attending a meeting during the TAPPS conference in San Antonio where groups like San Antonio FEAST attended and considered joining the organization, but the division (although it may still exist in TAPPS bylaws) never got started. There was even a rough draft of an alignment, but it was really unworkable and never got off the ground. So, for all practical purposes, homeschool participation in TAPPS was over.

I appeared with two or three other school administrators in front of the TAPPS board following the vote to request that TAPPS "grandfather" existing home school participants at their current school through the remainder of their high school years, and that was approved. But it's a long time ago because on Facebook, I get wedding notices and birth announcements (fortunately in that order) on the kids that were in the program.

The explosion of home school groups, I believe, can be traced to that decision over 10 years ago. Other reasons include the new charter schools, most of which are not interested in being a part of the UIL due to their residency, staffing, and district assignment rules. TAPPS has also, by its rules, limited their membership to true non-government schools (there are a couple exceptions, grandfathered by their prior membership -- I think it is two prison schools and the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin), so those charter schools needed to find another outlet for their participation.

I would prefer a larger, single organization, but it isn't going to happen. I believe that TAPPS should be that organization, but I understand many of my good friends in other groups have legitimate reasons for their own groups to exist. TAPPS, with 225 or so schools, is still larger than many state public school organizations by number of schools.

Most states have combined public/private school organizations, which is not going to happen in Texas in my lifetime. But even in those states, there are private school groups which have formed because they do not want to meet the requirements of the state-wide organization, for various reasons.
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Re: Why so many?

Postby coachbill » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:38 am

TAIAO: San Antonio/Austin based. A lot of TCAL teams moved to TAIAO since the focus in TAIAO is 100% on football, at least from what I've heard. Also heard it's very organized and structured.


It's hard to follow Mr. Taddy but just for everyones informationI, TAIAO has volleyball, XC, basketball, track, baseball/softball, and is working on having FA&A and soccer in 2018. And, we have teams from El Paso to Tyler and Lubbock to Corpus Christi; not just SA and Austin.

TAIAO was started by a group of football coaches who really wanted to see more structure, a better line of communication and opportunities for every student to compete in JH and HS sports. TAIAO follows the same eligibility rules as TAPPS and UIL with the exception of the home schooled teams and schools without athletic programs (blended programs). The exceptions come with strict guidelines that prohibits a student from playing for multiple schools (team hoping) during their 4 years (not 5) of eligibility unless the family actually picks up and moves. TAIAO is not just home school programs. Charter schools and private schools are also part of our membership. You can learn more about our great organization at TAIAO.org or feel free to contact our Steering Committee with any questions you may have.

On a side note, we (before TAIAO) tried several years back to merge 2 of these leagues together in hopes for a larger organization which (in my opinion) would have been the difference maker for both groups. Unfortunately there was a huge power struggle between the two and our desire for unity, district play and statewide participation flew out the window. Whats cool about TAIAO is, no one gets a paycheck! Theres no "Executive Director" in TAIAO and we are very transparent in everything we do - as any non profit should be. We have a very dedicated group of men and women who strive to lead with integrity and consistency. If we continue to grow at the rate we have in the last few years, paid staff will be inevitable.

These opinions are coming from a coach who has been a part of 3 of the leagues mentioned and may not necessarily be the opinions of TAIAO.

Our motto is very simple..."it's all about the kids!"

Have a great Week 4!
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Re: Why so many?

Postby FCSA football » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:52 am

Organizations are not people but like people, they are not inherently good or bad and they are fallible.Big doesn't necessarily mean better or best. Bigger equates to being more complicated at times.
Quote "I don't know what the secret of success is, but I know the secret of failure, trying to be all things to all people ".
" The first thing that happens after a successful revolution is that they get rid of the revolutionaries."
(Ask Che')
And finally
"We have become what we tried to get away from"
Just saying.........
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Re: Why so many?

Postby coachamiller » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:41 am

coachbill wrote:
TAIAO: San Antonio/Austin based. A lot of TCAL teams moved to TAIAO since the focus in TAIAO is 100% on football, at least from what I've heard. Also heard it's very organized and structured.


It's hard to follow Mr. Taddy but just for everyones informationI, TAIAO has volleyball, XC, basketball, track, baseball/softball, and is working on having FA&A and soccer in 2018. And, we have teams from El Paso to Tyler and Lubbock to Corpus Christi; not just SA and Austin.

TAIAO was started by a group of football coaches who really wanted to see more structure, a better line of communication and opportunities for every student to compete in JH and HS sports. TAIAO follows the same eligibility rules as TAPPS and UIL with the exception of the home schooled teams and schools without athletic programs (blended programs). The exceptions come with strict guidelines that prohibits a student from playing for multiple schools (team hoping) during their 4 years (not 5) of eligibility unless the family actually picks up and moves. TAIAO is not just home school programs. Charter schools and private schools are also part of our membership. You can learn more about our great organization at TAIAO.org or feel free to contact our Steering Committee with any questions you may have.

On a side note, we (before TAIAO) tried several years back to merge 2 of these leagues together in hopes for a larger organization which (in my opinion) would have been the difference maker for both groups. Unfortunately there was a huge power struggle between the two and our desire for unity, district play and statewide participation flew out the window. Whats cool about TAIAO is, no one gets a paycheck! Theres no "Executive Director" in TAIAO and we are very transparent in everything we do - as any non profit should be. We have a very dedicated group of men and women who strive to lead with integrity and consistency. If we continue to grow at the rate we have in the last few years, paid staff will be inevitable.

These opinions are coming from a coach who has been a part of 3 of the leagues mentioned and may not necessarily be the opinions of TAIAO.

Our motto is very simple..."it's all about the kids!"

Have a great Week 4!



Appreciate the clarity coach. Good to hear the background of TAIAO and the direction it's headed.
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