Hacky Sack, Jones’ Most Popular Pastime

Administration enforces policy regarding any type of physical activity during Academic Lab


Juan Cuecha 16

A group of students playing Hacky Sack, enjoying the relaxation it provides.

Juan Cuecha '16,

During lunch, Academic Lab, or even before and after school it’s no surprise when you notice a group of students huddled around in a circle, kicking around a Hacky Sack.  A knit sphere containing a sack of tiny beads that has become a very well-liked activity here at Jones has also attracted administration’s attention, causing them to take action. 

After introducing Academic Lab during the 2013-2014 school year, administration made it very clear that this given time should be used for academic purposes.

Principal P. Joseph Powers explains that “it clearly states in the academic guidelines that any type of physical activity is prohibited, besides walking around and designated time in the gym and pool. However, they are allowed to play during lunch in the courtyard.”

Wanting to be able to play during Academic Lab as well, students who play Hacky Sack disagree about what should and should not be allowed to do in Academic Lab.

There’s no doubt many students use the time to work on homework, talk to teachers, and do academic related things. On the other hand, “not every student uses this time productively” explains Chemistry/Forensic Science teacher Marlita Sanders. It is important to realize that the students who want to play Hacky Sack are making a choice on what they want to do with their time. And at the end of a long and stressful day, many students need an activity or place where they can go to unwind.

Abraham Jimenez ‘18 said, “I really enjoy playing during Academic Lab because it helps relieve stress from school as well as distract us for a while.”

For others it may actually cause some stress, especially with the part of the game that consists of throwing the Hacky Sack at someone after three different people have hit it with their foot.

Gabriela Pantoja ‘16 said, “It’s kind of annoying when people set themselves up [to play Hacky Sack] wherever they please. Then they start throwing it when people are around and you’re worried it might hit you.”

Since administration is tasked with maintaining a safe environment at Jones, it makes sense for them to not allow what Powers described as “students trying to nail each other”. Their goal is to keep people safe and unharmed as well as provide a satisfying environment.

Even if the part of the activity where you try to hit someone was removed entirely, security guards are still threatening to take away the Hacky Sack during Academic Lab. Yet playing cards is allowed, even though the risk of gambling is present. This is where the confusion arises. Students see no apparent difference between the two activities which both include students huddled around participating in a game.

“You stay in the same location the entire time for both games,” said Jimenez, “yet the students are not hassled about playing cards.” This divided regulation does not sit well with the Hacky Sackers.

But for now students must continue to follow the guidelines that administration is enforcing while waiting for a decision on whether a specific room could be designated where students could go to relax and play Hacky Sack. “I’m going to talk to the faculty and see how they feel about it” said Powers.