The Importance of Minimal-Risk High School Sports Starting


Tess Rechtweg

While some sports are too high-risk to play due to COVID-19, it is important that those that are safe begin.

New York state canceled school spring sports for the rest of that school year on May 1, 2020. This made many student-athletes extremely upset. Many wondered if they would be able to play this school year, but their questions were not answered right away. It was announced on Jul. 16 that New York would postpone the fall sports season, and fall sports would eventually be played again in early spring. James Gilmartin, a senior, said, “I don’t think it was necessary for the fall season [to be postponed] because a lot of other schools are having their fall season, and nothing happened to them. Plus, the pros get to play.” Sophomore Kaitlyn Schafer also agreed, while Emma Ben, a freshman, said, “I believe it was necessary for New York to postpone fall sports because the COVID cases would have gotten much worse if everyone played sports, and some of the sports were in close contact.” It was also announced on Jul. 16 that the spring season would be postponed until the end of the fall season and go until the end of the school year. As of right now, minimal-risk winter sports are still on and have only been postponed until Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. 

When it was announced that fall sports would be postponed until the beginning of the spring, some schools had intramurals for certain sports. This was a way for students to stay active, meet new people, and do what they enjoy. 

Even though sports are going to start up again, does it mean that they are all safe to play during this time? Sports such as football, soccer, wrestling, and basketball are close-contact sports and could spread the virus easily. When asked about whether there are any sports that should not be played, Schafer shared, “No, I feel all sports should be played, but with restrictions.” However, Ben said, “I feel that all sports should be canceled because it is not fair to some students who play a closer contact sport.”  

High school sports are important for many young athletes. For some sports such as football, college recruits will see how athletes play at high school games, so it is important for them to play, especially if they want to play in college. High school sports also help students become more involved and make students’ college applications look more impressive. Playing sports in high school also helps students make new friends. Schafer said, “I feel it is important for high school sports to be played because it helps kids get involved with more school things , and it helps them make friends and get closer with people in their town/school.” 

Of course, there are some dangers to this happening. COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise, especially as a result of the holidays, so the right safety precautions must be taken. With the right restrictions, students should be able to play sports again without spreading the virus. Many people still believe it is not safe, but students need to be active, become more social with other students, and become more involved, and school sports provide the opportunity to do so.