Updated: Apr 20, 2021
Playing sports during a pandemic is not the easiest thing to do. Playing sports while following COVID-19 rules and regulations is extremely difficult, but at least for Spring 2021, Hamden Hall is easing up restrictions to make way for athletes to get outside!
Spring sports, in particular, are outside and that is an important factor in being able to play sports during a pandemic. For winter sports, such as basketball, which require being in a closed room with players very close to each other, it is especially hard to keep 6 feet away from others and bring fresh air into buildings with the freezing weather outside. air to flow with freezing cold weather outside. Ventilation is extremely important, and what better way to have air flowing than being outside? Studies show that more cases occur inside because you are more likely to touch an infected surface inside, and particles tend to stay suspended in the air inside of closed rooms. Sports that are outside tend to involve less risk. Simply wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, and being outside gives you lower chances of becoming sick. Even in non-contact sports, you are still coming into contact with people and objects, it is safer to be outside.
To give an example, I play tennis! This year the tennis season is different, of course, but because tennis is such an individual sport and there are usually only a few people on the court, a lot of people have chosen to remove their masks while playing. When playing singles, there are only two people on one court and they are about 70-78 feet apart from the other opponent(depending on where they position themselves on the court.) In doubles, however, where you are much closer with four people on a court (two on one side, two on the other), a mask is required.
So far, especially being a singles player, I can comfortably take my mask off without being surrounded by people. And even though tennis is more individualized, the pandemic has had great effects on it, especially playing against other schools. You have to keep track of the different types of balls for each match, wear masks constantly if playing doubles, only two spectators can come to watch your match, and there are no more high-fives or hand shakes. For practice, almost everyone(except at times) wears masks throughout the entire practice. Matches against other schools require a lot more regulations than school practices. I am fine playing against other schools, as long as everyone keeps safety in mind. We need to get out and compete to become stronger and to have fun winning or losing. It is always so much fun going on a bus to a faraway match, having an anxiety attack the entire bus riding, and then doing really well when the match is over and celebrating with your team! We are definitely taking a risk, but we are also doing what we can to be safe but still compete.
Even though coaches are becoming lenient with mask-wearing outside, it is important to remember the ongoing pandemic and how we can get out of it as quickly and safely as possible. Have fun playing sports! Being inside all day isn’t fun, and you have a higher risk being inside, so why not go exercise? Have fun and be safe!