Athletes must prepare to covid-safety at all times


Photo by Parker Gilchrist

Stillwater Ponies 15AAA team shakes hands with STMA 15AAA after a 5-4 win for STMA. This game took place at Target Field.

Parker Gilchrist, Online Editor

Teachers, coaches and students are looking for new ways and new guidelines for different sports and how they should be played in a safer environment for everyone. For falls sports to be continued, these guidelines must be met, or a season could be ruined for athletes.

Sports are still being played and that could possibly lead to a COVID outbreak among athletes and more students. Football being a contact sport gives it a higher chance of someone getting COVID.

“I think it’s only necessary for colleges to have fall sports because some of them rely on the income it brings,” junior Calvin Mankowski said.

Students who have a teammate they are close with who was exposed to COVID need to quarantine immediately. Having a teammate with COVID or exposed to it can lead to higher risks of any other person to get it. Students are required to stay six feet apart from each other at all times if possible, but with some sports, that is not really an option most of the time.

“Depends on the sport, but I would think the best option would be to quarantine those who are closest to the infected player, those people that were on the line or in close proximity to the infected individual,” junior Tucker Wyland said.

Some sports look different for students this year. For example, baseball has very little contact at all, but one major problem could be everyone touching the baseball.  Most players have batting gloves to wear, which helps in its own way. Most baseball teams now have resorted to using their own balls to play with and not letting the opposing team touch which makes it a safer environment during and after the game is played.

“Split up positions around the field that way we are somewhat distanced away from each other. And maybe have multiple water stands around so we all don’t have to be close together,” senior Jake Ehlenz said.

New ideas are being brought up on how student-athletes should be distancing and playing it safe. Every sport being played at the moment has rules about sharing drinks. Students may only hydrate themselves if they have their own beverages. In baseball, seeds are a no go due to the amount of spitting and germs it can spread with the pandemic in action.

“They get to go back to their favorite sport with some limitations but at least you get to be the team and out on the field for once last time for those who are seniors, ”Ehlenz said.

Later on, baseball players were soon allowed to be in the dugouts together as long as they each had a mask on while in the dugout. The practice has also started for all high school players, obviously with the same distancing rules.

“It prevents the risk of exposure to other teams, ”Mankowski said.

For sports that involve more cardiovascular activity, masks are not required to be worn while playing. It tends to get harder for each player to breathe through the masks when moving nonstop. Soccer is a great example, as it is a sport that is played by kicking a ball. Players aren’t really near each other too much, unless they’re trying to block or steal the ball.

“I think having sports go on this fall is best for everyone involved. It provides a good distraction from the lull of the quarantine and allows for physical interaction which is known to be beneficial to all people,” Wyland said.

“I see it as beneficial for all people, both players, and spectators, and can bring the community together again after being left to crumble during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wyland added.