Opinion: Winter sports are still possible


Credit: Julia Raymond

WSPN’s Julia Raymond talks about the possibility of preserving the upcoming winter sports season.

With fall sports coming to end and the winter season approaching, the question of whether winter sports will happen is up in the air. In my opinion, it really comes down to which is the sport being played. Certain sports are easy to accommodate for COVID-19 restrictions, while others are not. There comes a point where there are too many regulations needed, and the sport loses its rhythm.

Skiing: Downhill skiers may have the best luck in this pandemic sports-wise. Masks are very easy to wear in this situation; considering the cold temperatures, face masks are usually worn anyway. Keeping distance from others in the lift lines is definitely possible. There will be limits on the number of kids going into the lodge as other schools will most likely be there too, but, for the most part, things will be somewhat normal.

Cross country skiing: Cross country skiing is definitely possible, just like downhill skiing is. The most important part to remember is keeping masks on while maintaining an appropriate distance when boarding the buses for meets. This may require two buses to allow kids to sit one per seat.

Swimming: In my opinion, this is the most difficult sport to determine. Masks can obviously not be worn in the water, which is where we run into problems. Swim meets will most likely not happen; it’s too many kids in a closed space. The school will have to find alternative ways to compete and set goals. Another problem with swimming is the size of the pool due to the limited number of lanes available.

Track: Meets at Reggie Lewis Center will not be happening anytime soon. Reggie Lewis and Boston University are the usual spots for meets and over eight different schools compete in these meets. Practices will have to be small groups of kids. It will be necessary to choose outside routes to practice when possible. Once it becomes too cold to be outside, it will get difficult, especially if other sports are practicing inside the field house.

Basketball: The main problem with basketball is the ball itself. With all the players using the same ball, germs can easily be spread. It is pretty easy to pass the ball to another player then touch your eyes or mouth, thus spreading those germs. I’m not sure how this will work, especially since this sport is also played inside. I still have hope, however, and I believe the players should still train for a season because you never know if regulations could change.

Volleyball: Volleyball has a similar problem to basketball with the ball. However, one advantage to volleyball is that they usually have a smaller team because fewer players play on the court at a time. This makes things easier by limiting the number of people in the gym at once. If players don’t touch their faces and constantly wash their hands, using the same ball could be okay, and it’s the same way with basketball. Masks, of course, should be worn at all times too.

Football: Football was postponed in September and is now scheduled to start in February. Practices will be hard with the cold temperatures, but these players have been training hard since the summer and are willing to fight through it. There will most likely be some COVID-19 regulations with tackling since football can become pretty close contact at points.

Winter sports are going to be tricky, but if we are able to keep cases down, I believe it is possible. The key is to be safe outside of school, and be responsible; washing our hands and wearing our masks is all we can do right now.