Rooting for Lottery Points at Spring Sports Games

Isabella Ledet, Staff Writer

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian hockey player, said some time ago.

Well, what if someone really wanted to take that shot but there were no fans cheering them on?

Most students are familiar with the basketball ticket lottery system. Regardless of the effectiveness of the lottery system itself, there are some fundamental flaws in the mentality of the system, specifically with bonus lottery games.

Returning from the bonus lottery soccer game the other day, I overheard some people behind me talking. They were complaining that no one shows up for spring sports since no bonus lottery points can be offered. It was then I realized what a predicament this is. As much as I love soccer, I understand that the stands were packed primarily by those seeking to pack the stands of the Finneran Pavilion later this year. The person behind me was absolutely right: no one is packing stands at spring events because there is no incentive to do so.

What if there were some way to reward attendance at spring sports? I see some of the initial problems: carrying over points from previous years would only benefit upperclassmen and would leave freshmen behind entirely. But upon discussing this issue with peers, it was shared that some schools use their extra lottery points to redeem prizes.

For instance, one may have 1,460 points by the end of the basketball season, and maybe an exclusive Villanova hoodie is worth 1,500 points. Even just one spring sport game would ensure the possession of the hoodie for this student, and the presence of people vying for the hoodies would ensure the enthusiasm of the team.

I am not living in a world of delusion. The basketball team here at Villanova is respected, adored and favored by all. However, it is not entirely fair that only some sports teams are able to ride on the coat-tails of this obsession. 

All student athletes put in an extraordinary amount of effort into their respective sports and should have the satisfaction of their peers rooting for them in settings where they are showcasing their talents. 

As a former swimmer, I know there is a hierarchy among sports to watch. The words “crowd” and “swim meet” have never been in the same sentence. However, I trust in Villanova’s community. I believe it is only fair for everyone’s hard work and dedication to be appreciated, and I am sure that many others here at Villanova would agree with this. Whether it is academics, athletics, media, community service or any other student-participating activity, the Villanova community always bands together to support itself.

Maybe someone could be inspired by an event they never considered attending if it were not for lottery points. Maybe the athletes will do a little bit better knowing their peers are rooting for them in the stands. Maybe that shot is taken and it goes in.