[HEAD IN THE GAME] Should schools suspend winter sports?

As schools move back into distance learning and coronavirus cases continue to rise, winter sports seasons may be on the line. If it isn’t safe for students to attend in-person school, then is it really safe for students to participate in winter sports?

While indoor sports such as basketball, hockey, and fencing may implement higher transmission risks, they can still be manageable.”

While indoor sports such as basketball, hockey, and fencing may implement higher transmission risks, they can still be manageable. Outdoor sports such as Nordic and alpine skiing will definitely be safer in the sense that they are outdoor and will make COVID spread easier to prevent. SPA has done an excellent job of managing outbreaks, and as long as students continue to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks, sports practices could resume safely.

The state of Minnesota and MSHSL have allowed winter sports to resume under stricter rules: a shorter season and fewer competitions. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state of Minnesota, it is unclear how SPA will handle the concerns revolving around the season. Fall responses to covid cases provide a guide: Wolfpack Football was recently canceled because of a team outbreak, but Spartan Volleyball season resumed after quarantine.

It is very possible that winter seasons could get canceled due to rising cases or team outbreaks, especially around winter break. While many families have chosen to stay home, some still may travel to visit family and friends, which could cause COVID cases to rise above MSHSL’s guidelines.

While sports may not be viewed as necessary during a pandemic, they can be very beneficial to students’ mental and physical health, which feels necessary right now. Students are trapped at home and socially isolated, staring at screens all day. Getting out of the house to play sports is a good way to exercise, take a break from family and school, and focus on something enjoyable.

The winter sports season may be shortened but can still be managed safely by following SPA and MSHSL’s guidelines.

Head in the game is a monthly column by The Rubicon Sports Editor Hazel Waltenbaugh. It addresses issues of health and athletics. Have a subject you’d like addressed? Contact Hazel at [email protected]