Hazing and Initiation
Being on a varsity sports team, being the athlete looked up to by children, and having your letterman’s jacket are all things coveted by many males in a small school and town. Going out to the field on a Friday night under the lights or being on the gym floor with hundreds of community members coming to watch you play are things these boys look forward to doing. But, before they can do that they must be one of the freshmen on team and be accepted on to that team by the upperclassmen. Hazing of these freshmen is a way to have them prove that they are tough enough or willing to sacrifice for the team. It is a way to initiate them. Some teams do it more than others, but almost all teams do it in some manner.
Hazing is illegal in most states and is looked for by coaches, school administrators, and parents (Van Raalte). Many schools put in place anti-hazing programs. “High school anti-hazing programs may include education, role-playing of hazing-like incidents, getting students talking about hazing, and getting faculty and parents involved with anti-hazing. By incorporating these elements into well-developed anti-hazing programs, Watertown High School, in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Roseville High School, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, have gotten hazing under control” (Oliff). Although a school may think that they have gotten hazing under control, there is no way to control everything that happens in the locker room or outside of the school.
I played three sports in high school and was hazed as a freshman. Each team had a different way of hazing, some more intense than others, but none of them going as far as you often see on the news or vulgar stories you hear about from others. In my freshman year I sometimes felt out of place when at practice not always knowing what to do in each drill or having to just watch the upperclassman from the sideline. Although I sometimes felt out of place at practice, I often felt out of place in the locker...