Covid vs. Sports: Is this a game we can win?

Emmy Cullinan, Student-Reporter

It’s down to the last period, Covid is winning, but sports are coming back. In this final period, let’s see who will win. Playing sports has always been one of the best parts of my school experience: being a part of a team, building self-confidence, resiliency, and making good friends. But in Virginia and all over the country this year, sports are going to be very different. This year because of COVID sports have been mostly running and body- weight workouts. During the sessions for girls lacrosse we did a lot of individual sports, running, and ab workouts. 

VHSL (Virginia High School League) has decided 3 phases for sports this year. In Phase 1 there should be no more than 10 people in a group or outside, workouts should be in ‘pods’ of the same 5-10 students. During the late summer, I did field hockey workouts and my coach used to get mad when we got too close together. “I really liked working out with my friends, but hated waking up early,” said Norah Whitehead, a 9th grader at Yorktown about the workouts. 

APS has now implemented that during all sports practices you must wear a mask. 8th grader Delaney Grace said, “It’s kind of hard to run in a mask, but I’ll get used to it.” But in a press release VHSL said it strongly encourages but doesn’t require athletes and coaches to wear masks while practicing and competing. There are some sports in which a mask should not be worn, the VHSL noted, such as cheerleading, gymnastics, wrestling, and swim. The new rules that were posted on the Yorktown website are

1) Students and coaches must wear a mask too, from, and during conditioning sessions.

2) Students and coaches will have their temperature checked upon entry to the facility and will be asked screening questions.

3) Students must bring their own water and will not be allowed to enter without water.

4) Social distancing will be maintained during conditioning sessions except when engaged in direct physical activity.

5) All workouts will occur outside so inclement weather might affect the ability to offer a session. Please make sure to sign up for Team App for your desired sport(s) since same-day notifications will be made via Team App messages.

6) Students will be kept in groups for contact tracing purposes which will limit overall capacity.

I haven’t had too much experience running and playing sports with a mask on. But with the little experience I have, I can say it’s hard to work out with a mask on, and my peers also agree with me. Sophomore Alex Whitehead told me,  “It’s so much harder to do sports when you have to wear a mask,” and I completely agree with that statement.

Even though I haven’t been able to see my friends as much this year, sports make it easier to see them. Hopefully, we’ll get to see Phase 3 soon and won’t have to have all of these rules, but at least they keep us safe. It is so much more fun when your coaches aren’t always on top of you about staying 6 feet apart. Sports are a lot of fun and are a little hectic nowadays, so make sure you stay safe, Williamsburg.