After-school sport clubs – 2 days off is only in name

School sport clubs should have more than 2 days off per week

  more than 2 days off per week in junior high schools

  more than 1 day off per week in high schools

  longer holidays during school vacations

  up to 2-3 hours of activity on weekdays, 3-4 hours on weekends
The above describes the proper amount of after school sport club activities in junior high schools and high schools, indicated in the report written by the Ministry of Education a number of years ago. More than 2 days of rest in junior high schools and more than 1 day of rest in high schools are required.


QOL of students was emphasized

The above guideline was announced in 1997 in the “Survey research report of the school sport club activities” by the Ministry of Education. The guideline has never been retracted, rather they have been referred to by a number of school boards for developing guidelines of their club activities.
The report by the Ministry discussed the common idea shared by many at the time that school sport clubs which practiced as many days as possible were regarded as “great active clubs”. The report clearly stated that “If we consider sports injuries, burning students out, work-life balance of students and guarantee of their development, excessive activity is detrimental. An appropriate number of days for rest must be assured.

The reality is contrary to the guideline

Why do school boards refer to the guideline of 20 years ago? It is because it has not been realized yet, or the situation is even worse today.
The national survey shows that in many schools club activities are conducted longer than 3 hours per day and more than 6 days a week, and the percentage of schools in this category increased in 2009 compared to 2004. The number of days per week and the hours per day have increased, running counter to the restriction guidance of the Ministry of Education in 1997. The guideline is not followed.

No. of hours of club activities per dayNo. of days of club activities per week

*The author drew the graphs based on the 1st and 2ndBasic Survey of Children’s Life by Benesse

An example of 3 days off per week
Yusuke Fujino is a junior high school teacher who practices “relaxed club activities”. According to his blog entitled “Fire the spirit of students”, the soft ball club he is in charge of is “off on Tuesdays + most of Saturdays and Sundays”. The students are happy about the schedule. The club is off for about three days every week, but the club has a high ranking in the prefectural tournament.

An increase of holidays does not guarantee victory, and perhaps there is no need to aim for victory. The step taken by Mr. Fujino shows us that there is a way to manage a sport club other than practicing every day without rest. This point has been indicated in the guideline presented by the government 20 years ago.


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