Ever since the beginning of the 2020 school year, many afterschool activities have gotten impacted. With the emergence of COVID-19, many large gathering type activities aren’t allowed to function because of the infectivity of the virus. This is a perfectly reasonable action to do in response to everything, but sports at SPA have been very strange due to these changes. SPA students and athletes should adjust to these changes so that people can continue playing sports. If students cannot follow the rules, then athletics during COVID may completely change, or even get canceled. Regardless, it’s very hard for these athletes to be part of a team during this period of distance and quarantine.
In past years, team bonding has been a very prevalent part of student athletics throughout all sports. Students hold fundraisers, do team bonding, and hang out before games and meets. However, these things all aren’t nearly as applicable during the pandemic. For the volleyball team specifically, team meals were a large part of the team bonding experience in previous years. This year, the players cannot do many team activities besides practice. Some sports aren’t “team” based, like swimming or cross country, but regardless, the bond that a student-athlete feels with their teammates is a crucial part of sports. Many students aren’t as close to their new teammates this year, and that loss of friendship and bonding is detestable. Athletics isn’t something that people can really do over zoom, so the only time they see each other is during the short socially distant practices. Many seniors who were looking forward to being the captains of their sports teams and lead the younger students are not able to fully experience that as well. So, current sports captains are losing the quintessential “captain” experience.
Breaking social distancing rules would be worse than not talking to friends, so the only thing to do is accept the lack of closeness. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that it’s very unfortunate. Hopefully, in the later years, athletes will be able to go back to their previous system once COVID is fully taken care of and no longer a threat in the United States.