Playing basketball amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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Girls Varsity/JV Basketball team prepares for their upcoming season starting in January.

Many sports and events have faced the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams winter seasons have been greatly impacted. There is an unknown future for the players and their season, but the hopes of playing might become a reality in the near future. 

There have been delays in fall and winter sports seasons, which have been pushed back several months or even been rescheduled in the spring because playing indoors during the winter was considered to pose additional risks. High school athletic associations, club sports programs and colleges around the country are postponing or cancelling events and seasons in response to COVID-19. 

“We were supposed to start on November 16, and now we are starting on January 4,” boys varsity head coach Brady Hannigan said. 

Because of the pandemic, many rules and regulations have been put into place regarding sports. These protocols will be put in place when teams return to playing and practicing in person. For both teams wearing masks and practicing social distancing are key factors in being able to return to having games and practice. 

“We won’t use locker rooms and there will be things like wearing masks during practice, not sharing water bottles, sanitizing hands, being spaced out, not being in group situations,” Hannigan said.

Sports are not only a way for athletes to stay in shape, but they are also a way to build relationships with others, make friendships, and build skills while also having fun and something to look forward to. Many teams are trying to stay connected and have found new ways to do so such as doing team zoom meetings for working out and staying in touch while they are unable to meet in person.

I feel like right now everybody would kind of like to get to know each other more and be more together.”

— Gionna Carr

Although teams are able to meet virtually and stay connected through the internet they are missing out on things they would get to do in person such as team bonding. This has effects on many of the players, specifically new members of the teams or freshmen. It may be hard for them because they don’t know their teammates yet and the closure of gyms would prevent them from practicing.

“I think it would be a whole different experience when you’re in person rather than virtually,” varsity basketball senior captain Gionna Carr said.

The boys varsity team has still maintained a steady schedule for training and staying connected as a team.

“We do virtual training, virtual team meetings, and virtual lifting and those over the course of the week are four days a week,” Hannigan said.

 Minnesota Department of Health provided that data is showing kids contract the virus in games and practice and spread it to others. This proves the concern and reasoning for the basketball season being delayed and for the measures that have been taken to help keep players safe.

Although the importance of student athletes getting back to their sports from a mental health perspective as well as having opportunities to participate and compete, resuming the season adds risk of an outbreak and the spread of COVID-19. This could have negative effects on the community and put many people at risk which could be preventable by delaying or cancelling the season.

“It’s kind of like we missed out on a lot of the games we would play and I feel like right now everybody would kind of like to get to know each other more and be more together,” Carr added.

However, throughout the impact of the pandemic, the teams have managed to find ways to stay connected and continue to work hard to prepare for their seasons.