Amidst this global pandemic, many sports fans and players are finding hope and joy through the sports that were approved to play during this time. Our school, Central York high school, along with many other schools in our county, is allowing fall sports to continue playing despite Covid-19. Although we are allowed to play, there have been many changes affecting these teams and their season.
These changes include how our Central York athletes enter the court, stadium and fields. When athletes arrive at their practice they are required to put on a mask before they enter the school, stadium, or field. They must keep their mask on as they walk up to the coaches or staff.
These designated people have to ask each individual athlete 3 questions and record their response. The athletes are asked if they have a temperature, if they have been in contact with someone that has COVID and if they have any symptoms. If they answer yes to any of these questions, they are not allowed into the practice and they have to be sent home.
Once they are let into their practice, the players have to put their bags distanced from their teammate’s bags. They then continue to wear their masks as they put on things like cleats, shinguards, etc.
The only time players are permitted to take their mask off is when they are getting on the field, turf, court, or mat. As soon as they step off, they have to put their mask on unless they are getting water or socially distanced.
Another major change that has happened for fall sports is the number of fans allowed to spectate the games. Originally, Gov. Tom Wolf said, “Sports-related activities at the PK-12 level are limited to student-athletes, coaches, officials and staff only. … Visitors and spectators are prohibited from attending in-person sports-related activities.” The new guidelines read that, “spectators may attend sporting events, but count towards the statewide large gathering limitations.” This means that 250 people are allowed to spectate outdoor events and 25 people are allowed inside. This guideline applies to our school and all other PIAA schools that are continuing to have sports this season.
Sophomore and field hockey player Jenna Stiffler elaborated on her season saying, “I am glad to play but also it’s very different than usual because you can’t have as many people cheering you on and also can’t high-five other players to congratulate them when they score a goal. “
Players, coaches, and fans can all agree that this season is unlike any other. This sports season is not expected to change back to normal. With COVID- 19 numbers still rising and many players across the country don’t know if they will play this season. Central is very blessed to have the chance to compete in the sports they love. Despite the changes, these sports are continuing to bring hope and joy during this Global Pandemic.