The official start date for winter sports passed earlier this week, and many school districts are still waiting for an affirmation that they can kick-off events. However, many of these sports are considered far too high-risk to ensure safe play during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since all of these events are indoor and involve close contact. School boards have yet to announce a follow-up start date, and it seems unlikely that it will happen. The pandemic is worsening, and risking illness with indoor sports doesn't seem worth it to a lot of officials.
Even though students are anxious to get back on their respective courts, they just have to be patient and safe. A New York high school athletic director, David Richardson, says "Obviously, we want to see the green light for those high-risk sports to begin. We’re still hopeful, but each passing day seems to be more and more concerning." Many New York state schools had a targeted start date of January 4th for play, but they had to cancel due to the increasing number of cases in the region.
In order to work around the inconvenience, athletic programs are trying to get a little creative with how they get kids involved outside of the normal sporting regimens. “We’re trying to provide opportunities for kids in limited ways. We’re trying to offer open gyms where kids can still come in small groups following the guidelines, interacting with the coach and working on fundamentals and skills," said Richardson.