Eight sports are offered at each of the Long Beach Unified School District's 26 middle and K-8 schools. The Middle School Sports budget funds LBUSD-qualified coaches, certified sports officials, bus transportation and awards. This popular program, however, is in jeopardy for next year due to the state's ongoing, multi-billion-dollar cuts to public education. With an annual cost of more than $300,000, LBUSD Middle School Sports can no longer be sustained without the assistance of private funding.
In each of the eight sports, schools compete within four leagues (North, South, East, West) including schools grouped by size and location. The North and South Leagues are the 12 large middle schools (6 in the North and 6 in the South). The North and South Leagues compete for the Division I Championship at the end of each of the eight sport seasons. The East and West leagues are the 14 K-8's and smaller middle schools (seven in the East and seven in the West). The East and West Leagues compete for the Division II Championship.
For all sports except track, the season schedule consists of the 26 teams playing every week for five or six weeks. Each weekly game day during the season involves 12 buses transporting students (one way) to their 12 games. The games are officiated by paid and certified officials (two officials at each football, basketball, and soccer game; and one for volleyball).
In addition to the eight funded sports, the Middle School Sports budget funds the timing system and awards for an all-district middle school cross country championship for each of grades 6, 7, and 8 held on the first Saturday in June. There are no paid coaches for this event. Coaches/teachers (most often a physical education teacher) volunteer time to submit entries, prepare the runners and collect the runners' field trip participation permits, and supervise them on the Saturday. Last year, more than 500 LBUSD middle students participated in that one day event. Poly Cross Country Coach Mike Fillipow and Poly's cross country team help to organize and facilitate that race.
The funded Middle School sports, each with their own set of coaches (eight sports times 26 schools = 208 coaches) and game officials are:
Frequently updated sports schedules and event results are posted here or under the Middle School Sports heading in the A-Z index on this website.
Donations to this long-cherished program provide children healthful physical activity and lifelong lessons about comradery and sportsmanship.