WHAT WILL FALL SPORTS LOOK LIKE?

PHS coaches, athletes might have to make adjustments

With+spring+sports+canceled%2C+the+downtime+presents+itself+as+an+opportunity+for+athletes+to+train+for+fall+activities+like+cross+country.

Abby Landwehr

With spring sports canceled, the downtime presents itself as an opportunity for athletes to train for fall activities like cross country.

Nearly every sporting event across the country has been either canceled or postponed; even the Olympics have been postponed, which has only ever happened during a world war.

More locally, administrators are looking into the best options for Wyoming sports. The ideal scenario is a normal season come autumn, but the Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) is considering alternatives.

“There is discussion of moving some activities/athletics from the fall to the spring to allow student athletes the opportunity to compete at some point next school year if the health community feels we need to continue social distancing,” PHS activities director Mr. Scott McKenzie said. “There is also some discussion of possibly having to limit the number of fans at an event.  

“For example, in volleyball each student athlete may be allowed to have two people at the event to watch. This could be the case for any event next fall if the guidelines for social distancing are still in place.”

For cross country, things could look better. For distance runners, social distancing is simpler; runners can space apart easier than athletes in other sports.

“We could possibly practice in smaller groups,” PHS  assistant cross coach Mrs. Ashley Hildebrand said. “However, traveling on a bus and competing in big races could be an issue.  We will have to wait and see what the protocols will be when we start back up in the fall.”

For example, in volleyball each student athlete may be allowed to have two people at the event to watch. This could be the case for any event next fall if the guidelines for social distancing are still in place.”

— Mr. Scott McKenzie, Activities Director

Schools across the state potentially could lose top athletes if sports seasons change. This does not only affect the athlete but the teams as well. Some sports may lose top athletes, while others will keep theirs.

“[COVID-1] could affect student athletes who compete in multiple activities/athletics,” Mr. McKenzie said. “They may possibly have to choose between two activities/athletics that they are good at. For example, if a student athlete is a football player and a track member…there could be a situation where football is moved to the spring season. That student athlete may have to pick between sports in the spring.”  

Mrs. Hildebrand remains optimistic that athletes will be able to participate in cross country come fall. However, it is important for athletes to begin training as soon as summer starts.

“My hope is that we are able to start the season like we usually do and be able to train and compete as we have in the past,” Mrs. Hildebrand said. “I am still planning on sending out a summer training plan to our cross country team…It is really important to build a good base and work on strength in the summer, so my expectation is that our runners will take that upon themselves as usual.”

However, a return to competition for professional sports may look different. As sports such as the NFL and NBA attract tens of thousands of fans to each game, extra precautions will have to be taken.

 But, at this point there isn’t much information about what this return will look like. Much of it is only speculation at this point.

“We’ll go anywhere the science takes us and nowhere the science doesn’t,” Dr. Thom Mayer [NFL player’s union medical director] said in a New York Times article. “We’re going to look at everything as long as it keeps the patient-player, all 2,500 of them, safe.”

As the country begins to reopen, it is important to remember that the tough decisions officials have had to make have been for our health and safety. The decisions regarding sports will enact the same goal.