The return of P.E. classes offers hope to coaches trying to build up rosters

Recruiting students from P.E. classes can help grow rosters of sports teams.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)

When campuses closed in March 2020 and classes went online for more than a year at many schools because of COVID-19, it was a huge blow for coaches who use physical education classes to help recruit athletes for their teams. You can’t see how big or fast someone is through a computer screen.

When high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District began classes this week, it was the first time P.E. has been offered in 17 months, giving coaches hope that they will be able to recruit students for football, cross-country and other teams.

At Birmingham Charter, which began classes last week, football coach Jim Rose said he has already added 25 new players aided by identifying and contacting students in P.E. classes.

It will take time to get students cleared with physicals and to teach them fundamentals of particular sports, but P.E. teachers are critical to helping sports teams grow and prosper by identifying incoming freshmen and encouraging them to try a team sport.