Are YOU part of a winter sport? Well, then set up your facecam, sports equipment, AND make sure you wear your sports uniform! Get ready to face the opposing high school not physically, but on Zoom.us!
I’m kidding, I’m kidding, the situation of the winter sports at our high school isn’t that ridiculous. They did some adjustments and setbacks, like delaying the start dates of each sport by a month or so and having to put some heavy safety measures—like integrating a hybrid-like schedule and, undoubtedly, requiring everyone to wear masks—into the practices.
However, there are some extreme cases of the virus affecting the sports. I know this because I’m part of the Chatham High School Fencing Team. Due to Covid, and for good reason too, many of the more important tournaments, such as the Morris County Championships, the Cetrulo and Santelli tournaments, and the State tournaments, were all cancelled. The cancellation of these major tournaments was reasonable because these tournaments would have too many people in the competition and the venue to be deemed safe by New Jersey’s government.
Nevertheless, these tournaments took up a large portion of the winter season for me, so, inevitably, I can barely call this year’s fencing season an actual season. Now, even though the cancellation of these events ruined my fourth year of participating in the winter sport, there are benefits that I gained in the short run from the cancellation, new schedule, and postponement of the season: more time to focus on other activities, schoolwork, and less pressure.
The delayed start date of the winter season actually did give me lots of time during November and December to focus my attention on my school work and extracurriculars. This was especially a huge help because I had an extremely rigorous course load this year, and I wasn’t even sure if how I was going to manage it all if sports weren’t delayed. I know this would go the same for others that have multiple tests per week, essays to write, and programming that takes out a large portion of time during the week, and if sports were factored in, there would be less time per week to work on the course load. So, thanks to quarantine delaying the start date, I was able to focus and manage my time with my schoolwork that I had to finish. However, this is very short-run as I would have less time to do this once sports actually started. The good thing is that the schedule for some varsity sports run, like the fencing schedule, on a hybrid schedule where I don’t have to go to practice on a few days and could attend virtually instead, so that gives me some time.
In all honesty, that’s the only benefit this year’s sports season guidelines have for me, besides less pressure to do well in the big tournaments since those are canceled. Now, most of the important events for the sports team are the local meets, and, yeah, they are important, but nowhere near as important as the major high school tournaments. In the short run, the effects that COVID-19 had on winter sports were actually sort of beneficial, but in the long run, the consequences of not having a complete season make the 2020-2021 sports season less exciting than last year’s.