As students return to school this fall, various athletes and parents are wondering if students will be able to participate in their sport this year. AIA Sports Task Force explained, “The challenge is to reintroduce physical activity in a manner that follows federal, state, and county public health guidelines to reduce the spread of illness amongst athletes, coaches, athletic training staff, and the community.” The AIA is the statewide organization that organizes game schedules and state tournaments for all Arizona high schools. They are responsible for scheduling state playoffs and the finals.
Moreover, the number one priority for students and staff is maintaining their health and risk of the exposure to Covid-19. Mya Domask, junior, revealed, “As an athlete I fear that traveling to different schools will increase the risk of exposure.” Furthermore, news has been released by the AIA that sports will no longer be able to participate in tournaments due to the risk of exposing athletes to this illness. When it comes to weekly games, the AIA is yet to make a decision of how athletes will be able to compete without putting one another at risk.
As far as day to day practices, the AIA requires that athletes wear a mask when arriving at the gym and leave the gym wearing one. For practices, athletes must be in a group of twenty or less. Jenna Fredenberg, junior, claimed, “For Thunderbird’s swim team, our teams have consisted of 20 or more people at practice together and I am worried of how they will adjust practice to fit these guidelines.”
Officials have requested that all coaches, athletes, and other staff do not attend any sporting events if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the virus within the last fourteen days. They may not return for at least two weeks. After the two week period, they may return if they are free of the virus. In conclusion, it is truly a blessing that sports may occur during this terrifying time. Everyone needs to follow each and every guideline to keep themselves and those around them safe.