The Beverly Hills Unified School District’s first intramural middle school sports program starts next week with basketball tryouts for both boys and girls.
“The program is designed to help middle school students get ready for high school sports and to introduce the idea of traveling to other schools for games,” said Horace Mann Principal Steve Kessler, the league commissioner. Kessler serves on Superintendent Gary Woods&rsquo athletic advisory committee, which encouraged the formation of the league.
Basketball tryouts are scheduled for Nov. 5 and Nov. 8 at 3:45 p.m. at each of the city's four middle school campuses. Seventh and eighth grade students get priority for team selection. The basketball season will run for five weeks beginning Nov. 15, with playoffs on Dec. 8 at Beverly Hills High School.
In an unusual move, the teams will not be gender specific. Following basketball will be volleyball and touch football in the winter, and then soccer in the spring. There will be both a varsity and junior varsity squad for all sports.
The Board of Education over the summer approved spending up to $15,000 to start the intramural program. Most of the costs will go towards paying existing BHUSD coaches to oversee the teams.
Under the rules of the new league, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average to participate, with good behavior noted on their report cards. Players will be asked to provide a $25 donation. Those unable to pay will have their fee waved.
BHHS students will officiate the games for community service hours.