Whether you play sports or love to go to the games and support your high school team, I think we can all agree that sports were one of the few things that had us all somewhat enjoying our high school experience. They made us feel good about our school while having a good team, and got us excited about staying late after school to watch our friends play. Then COVID came and sports got turned upside down.
Governor J.B. Pritzker called for there to be no competitive sports in Illinois in the spring and later the fall. Earlier this week, Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health decided to put winter sports and basketball into a high-risk category; ultimately putting the season on hold. The cases of positive COVID-19 tests are at a high right now so it makes sense that this would happen which is disappointing from a morality perspective. Then something amazing happened: The powers that be changed their mind and decided to allow basketball!
The executive director of the IHSA (Illinois High School Association), Craig Anderson, goes on to say, “We remain considerate of the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our state. However, in our meeting with IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) on Friday (October 23), we felt that we presented multiple options that would allow for basketball to be conducted safely by IHSA schools this winter…” Although he mentioned that basketball could be handled safely, the fact remains that basketball has moved from a medium risk category to a high-risk category. This doesn’t raise concerns for the season’s validity, but rather for the safety of its players. Basketball requires a violation of the 6-feet policy that COVID demands as well as the absence of masks.
You should, in no way, let the safety concerns of the execution of the winter sports season discourage you from participating. This is quite the exciting bit of news that was given, but we shouldn’t get so excited that we become oblivious to what’s necessary for our survival during this pandemic. The numbers are rising but we can still play safely, or so we hope. Sports haven’t been available for us to participate in for quite some time now, but now they seem to be coming back. So get hyped and play hard, just not too hard.
Byline info: Jayden Hammond, Junior, GCE Lab School