The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Open Gym or Organized Sports?

What does Tenafly prefer among the two types of gym classes available for students to participate in?
Open Gym or Organized Sports?


Yet, our classmates never do, and we’re always stuck with the rackets that are missing half their strings. If that wasn’t enough, there’s basketball. At least four leather meteoroids are flying through the air and landing too close for comfort. Along with them are the “players”: people who aren’t aware of personal space. Volleyball stays at a distance and respects badminton boundaries. No problem there. Don’t forget, there are groups of two to five, walking laps amid the jungle of open gym. We understand that there is an easy solution: play an organized sport. But we would rather participate in open-gym than hold a lacrosse stick and not catch a single lacrosse ball. 

Gym class at Tenafly consists of two possibilities: open gym or a unit sport. As we have come to discover, there are multiple types of students associated with these two options. For example, those who are very involved with sports and group activities tend to enjoy unit sports. On the other hand, those who are not as interested tend to follow the action wherever it goes, but they don’t participate (except when grades are involved). However, most people are a mix of both, as they stray towards the activities they thrive in, while they withdraw from sports or activities they dislike. 

This is why all love open gym—how you get to spend the period is dictated by your choice. For example, badminton, basketball, volleyball, and the occasional spike ball are offered during open gym. This gives students like ourselves the opportunity to spend the period doing what we enjoy the most. In addition, it saves many students from the embarrassment of “underperforming” at a sport they have never tried before or enjoyed. 

Furthermore, it also serves as a chance to practice a sport played outside of school, which can be beneficial to students who have a busy schedule. Students who generally tend to drift away from the standard gym sports often gravitate towards open-gym activities because they give them a sense of self-dictation; including walking in circles around the gym with their friends and occasionally dribbling a basketball—in an attempt to fool their teacher.  

While the period to take part in open gym should be considered a blessing, some don’t appreciate it as much as organized sports. As stated above, open gym gives students the freedom to do whatever they please, but organized sports or activities keep you locked in place, without the liberty to choose teams or the activity. Now, we only speak for ourselves and our assumptions. Personally, sports have never been a favorite, especially if it includes being apart from our friends. However, our opinion is not the only one. So, for a fair judgment, here is some input from other THS students: 

Sia Yoon (’25) says, “I like open gym because I can do whatever I want.” 

Maria Estua-Carillo (’27) says, “I only prefer open gym when I have the opportunity to play badminton. However when the rackets are all taken, I am left with no other choice but to walk around or sit. Overall, I enjoy organized sports better because everyone gets to participate and no one gets bored.”

Lena Kim (’27) says, “I enjoy open gym, but I find it difficult to play badminton (her favorite activity) because the people playing basketball have trouble keeping the ball in their own space, which annoys me and other students. Therefore, I prefer organized sports better because there is a designated space to play.” 

Amy He (’24) says, “Unit sport. I don’t play sports, but I would say volleyball because it’s fun.”  

Daniela Zapiach (’27) says, “Unit sport because it’s organized; less chaotic and there’s a less chance of someone getting hurt. I like soccer, I mean- I play soccer, but I also enjoy playing badminton. My friends and I like to play during open gym, so, yeah.” 

Mika Baron (’27) says, “I prefer unit sport. I like volleyball, but unit sports overall because it gives me the chance to play new sports, ones I usually don’t play.” 

Alexa Voegeli (’27) says, “I like unit sports. Volleyball because I play volleyball, and I think it’s fun to introduce it to people who don’t play and get them into it.” 

From our perspective, the consensus is that students prefer unit sports: a fan favorite being volleyball.  The volleyball unit offers a chance to socialize with friends, play a sport without the competitive edge, introduce others to your passion, and have fun. Some prefer open gym, but the chances of doing what you want are limited. 

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About the Contributors
Sabina Cowen
Sabina Cowen, Guest Writer
Sabina Cowen ('27) is a Guest Writer for The Echo. Besides doing work associated with her academics, she enjoys spending her time cooking and listing new additions to her library at home. She is excited to bring her stories to THS!
Keeran Patel
Keeran Patel, Guest Writer
Keeran Patel (’27) is thrilled to be a part of The Echo. Aside from school and her love for writing, she enjoys playing the violin, reading all kinds of literature, and spending time with friends and family.
Jehee Nam
Jehee Nam, Staff Writer
Jehee Nam ('27) is a Staff Writer for The Echo. She worked as a copyeditor for Tiger Tales, the TMS school newspaper and is excited to continue her work as a writer. In her spare time she enjoys listening to a variety of music and talking to her friends.