Will it be a Season To Remember?

The+volleyball+team+joins+in+a+huddle%2C+something+that+may+never+be+seen+again%2C+thanks+to+social+distancing.

Jeff Parkin

The volleyball team joins in a huddle, something that may never be seen again, thanks to social distancing.

Jenna Kulka, Reporter

With the breakout of the coronavirus, spring athletes lost their sports season of 2020. With regards to the constant linger of the disease, fall athletes are beginning to question if they will have a season as well. Obviously, it is a real question that deserves attention for the safety of athletes, coaches, and spectators, but how far will precautions be taken? For many athletes and students, their sport means a lot to them. High School sports are also a great way to bring a community together, meaning the idea of not having them is very odd for many. Athletics are a great way to bring people together, especially in a time of need, such as a pandemic. However, for many athletes, a season involving masks, social distancing, and empty stands does not sound desirable. It may not be worth it.

    To begin, the National Federation of State High School Associations released a document explaining the precautionary measures that will be taken if a season does take place this fall. It involves a list of things that will need to take place, such as team isolating, health screenings (before and after workouts,) sanitization of equipment and facilities,and the end of sharing equipment, such as balls. For example, a basketball team can shoot free throws individually, being sure they use their own ball each time. For a volleyball team, this puts an end to the common warmup drill, known as “peppering,” because balls must not be passed between two or more athletes. Team drills will take a major toll, increasing the skills of individual athletes. For most sports, team drills are the most beneficial. This brings up the questions of the value of fall sports in effect of corona. 

    Along with these new measures, typical ways to avoid the virus will continue to take place. These being social distancing and face masks. Physical activity is intended to raise the heart rate, which results in heavy breathing. For many athletes, wearing a face mask while working out, practicing, or competing seems highly unreasonable and simply exhausting. Physical activity and a mask are two things that should not be mixed. As far as social distancing, this still means six feet. Not only six feet from opponents, but six feet from teammates. That puts an end to all pregame huddles, celebratory hugs, pickmeup high fives, and encouraging talks on the bench. Locker rooms will also remain closed. In the big picture, this really puts an end to team strengthening ideals that tend to be the most rewarding parts of playing a sport.

    Another part of the plan in progress for fall sports is the limitation on who watches the games. This being said, spectators and media can be considered non-essential, removing them from the typical highschool sport scene. This leaves only physical trainers, officials, coaching staff, and athletes to be a part of the game. No student sections, parents, photography, or media of any type would be a part of the classic competition. These “non essentials” are also another part of the fun that is most enjoyable for the athletes. Without a roaring student section, will there be such a thing as a home field advantage anymore?

    As we near the usual beginning of the season for these athletes, it becomes questionable to what really matters to the overall sport. Sports will change if masks, social distancing, empty stands, and health screenings become a part of the new normal. Clearly most other things in the world have changed, but is it necessary to change fall sports with them? It becomes a question to the athlete whether or not they are to give up many parts of the game, just to have a season.