Sports or Safety? How are Schools Deciding Between the Two?

Laneya Hernandez, Sports Reporter '22

To some, sports isn’t that important. To others it’s their everything. For most athletes that play sports, it’s their only shot at going to college, doing great things, and possibly even being the first one in their family to graduate. But as Covid-19 took over everyone’s lives and started affecting the fall sports seasons, it also made people take into account how greatly ignoring safety regulations affects people’s lives now and in the future. 

Some states have decided to start sports seasons sooner rather than later due to the small number of Covid-19 cases in that state and in certain counties. At this point most schools don’t individually get to decide when their sports will start up and ultimately that’s the problem. Some schools such as Vacaville Christian, which is in fact a private school, have already started practice while bigger schools like Vacaville High School and Vanden High school have to push back conditioning to the beginning of january. 

According to an article called “where the start of high school sports stands in all 50 states” by Mitch Stephens, in states like Idaho, “The Idaho High School Activities Association and its Board of Directors announced on July 16 it plans to proceed with the start of fall sports as scheduled.” On top of resuming sports as scheduled, on the Idaho high school activities association (IHSAA) website, they include a course about Covid-19 and how to spot it for coaches and administrators. In states like California, Nevada, and Washington, the fall sports season has been moved to the beginning of 2021.

Covid-19 has made it so parents ask questions that they wouldn’t normally ask, and worry about things that they didn’t even think twice about before like whether or not their kid should continue to play sports because of things like asthma and other illnesses that can put them at a higher risk. “Unfortunately, players with high risk factors should not play” says Anna Chavez, the Junior varsity coach for girls soccer. Covid-19 is a respiratory illness and is more harmful to people with things like asthma, diabetes, and underlying illnesses, so it isn’t recommended that they play sports this upcoming season. Athletes and coaches can wear masks during practice but social distancing is something that most likely won’t exist in the sports world as some sports like soccer and football require physical touch to tackle, defend, practice. 

Anna says, “I can try to enforce the social distancing amongst players socializing, and during games space players apart on the bench.  However, in order to prepare the team properly we will need to practice as normal as possible.” Coaches can try to enforce social distancing as much as possible but they can’t teach a team how to play a sport and defend each other and themselves if touching isn’t allowed.   

Parents and athletes are wondering what’s gonna be required of them to be able to play this sport but as of this moment nothing has been decided. Anna Chavez says, “State, local, and school officials make the final decisions.  We can’t require players to do something that is not in the school requirements.” Coaches cannot force the kids to do anything, all they can do is encourage it. Everything at this point, is up to the state, the governor for our individual counties, and the school administration. What people can do to help make our sports season happen is wear masks, social distance, and quarantine if they get symptoms of Covid-19.