Sports and Covid

Is there any hope for Garfield sports this year?


By Zachary Meyer

With COVID-19 altering all parts of today’s society, sports seem like the hardest thing to control. This year there still seems to be some amount of hope for high school sports to return. COVID isn’t going away soon but coaches and student-athletes everywhere aren’t ready to say goodbye to sports yet. 

WIAA, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, set specific guidelines regarding practices and training according to the stage. Seattle is currently in phase 2 of reopenings, meaning sports teams this year still have to follow strict COVID guidelines. 

These guidelines consist of “No gathering of more than 6 total people (5 students and 1 coach) at a time (inside or outside),” according to the WIAA guidelines. 

“Coaching or trying to coach a contact sport like soccer during covid is very difficult, because players have to come into contact with each-other to play the game.” Girls Soccer Head-Coach, Sean Alkadir said, “But we can’t do that at this time, and rightly so.” 

Teams would also be required to work in pods, or small groups, to limit the risk of exposure. 

“Workouts should be conducted in pods of students with the same students always working out together.” According to WIAA guidelines, “Smaller pods can be utilized for weight training.” 

Athletes are also required to maintain CDC outlined social distancing and try to keep as much playing time outside. 

“There must be a minimum distance of 6 feet between each individual at all times. If this is not possible indoors, then the maximum number of individuals in the room must be decreased until proper physical distancing can occur,” according to the WIAA guidelines. 

At the moment, the possible future of sports practices are depending on the state of COVID. Games and meets are scheduled to take place in the later phases, but hope seems low with the current rates of infection. 

“I truly hope games and meets will still happen this season,” Track and Girls Basketball Head-coach, Kwajalein Griffin (also known as “Coach Kwad”) said. “A number of sports will not be able to compete again if we aren’t allowed to move past phase II, which will be unfortunate to a number of student athletes.”

Especially after being cooped-up for 8 months, athletes have lost a healthy outlet, safe space, and community with sports being canceled. Although it is unfortunate, safety is the top priority for SPS and the WIAA. 

“We have to wait for the experts and medical professionals to give us guidelines on how to safely return to these sports before coaches and players can consider returning to normal play.” Sean Alkadir said. 

Coach Kwad has decided to start Girls basketball with a tentative date of January 28th. Track and Field is more undecided with a possible date of May 26th, and Girl’s soccer is aimed to start in March. 

With not full confirmation sports will be returning at its standardized level, athletes shouldn’t lose hope. Athletes should continue to practice as much as possible safely and at home.