Bukatsu not only refers to after school clubs, but it also means school team athletics in Japan. Practice here is more frequent, especially at my school. All teams have practice from Tuesday to Friday before and after school. There is practice on Saturday mornings too.
I’ve felt that practice is less about winning or become the best team, but more about having a place to socialize and have fun with friends while practicing a sport.
Seniors don’t attend practice during the second and third terms because they should be studying for high school or university entrance exams. When you factor in all the time at school, club activities, and juku, it’s easy to understand why kids always say they’re tired. I think less regimented activity and more personal time would be better for the students’ development.