The month is March in California, and in any normal year, high school spring sports would just be kicking off. Did you get the catch though? Unless you’ve been living under a rock you probably already came to the conclusion that 2021 is in fact far from a normal year. It is true that spring sports have begun training, but so have almost all other high school sports, including football, water polo, and basketball. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t there an extremely contagious virus that’s already claimed the lives of over 500,000 Americans? Yes, there is, but California seems to care more about kids having fun rather than their health and well-being.
Of course, there are a million questions that could be asked regarding this confusing and risky process of incorporating all high school sports into practice and game schedules, while simultaneously implementing COVID-19 safety protocols into team workouts. But with all the questions of the hows’, the wheres’, and the whens’, my biggest is why? Why, after all the months we’ve spent at war with this illness, why do we as the state of California allow our children to participate in group events that involve 10+ people while putting the lives of countless others at risk? Even when kids and coaches social distance and take proper precautions, all it takes is one wrong move for a whole team to become infected. According to CDC.gov, one of the leading causes for the spread of COVID-19 is from gatherings with an excessive number of individuals, with an excessive amount of contact.
Of course, there are ways for some sports to safely partake in physical activity while allowing children to stay separated, but for the majority of sports, contact is essential. Take football for example. How are receivers supposed to effectively practice running past a defender? How are defenders supposed to effectively practice guarding an offense? It’s simply not possible to stay safe while running a normal practice.
I understand where these parents and students are coming from, who want to get back to being active and having fun. We’ve been forced to stay away from family, friends, sports for almost a year. It hurts immensely to give up some of the privileges we once had before catastrophe struck, but we’ve come too far to just brush this virus off. Every day we get closer and closer to eliminating this threat that has taken so much from our communities, and we’d be even closer to solving the problem if we could just put high school sports off to the side for a moment.