HS 1327 athletes struggle to find a balance between safety regulations and normalcy as the sports season begins

Sofia+Barker+throws+a+softball+to+her+teammates+while+Jasmin+Desruisseau+awaits+her+turn+during+passing+drills.

Dylan Carson

Sofia Barker throws a softball to her teammates while Jasmin Desruisseau awaits her turn during passing drills.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students of High School 1327 (HS 1327) have been eager to begin their sports season after many teams were shut down following the first major virus outbreak. As Marin’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop, students have been able to resume in-person school along with team sports. While sports teams can reopen, players must follow safety protocols to protect themselves and their teammates from COVID-19. 

There are many safety precautions put in place by the school to keep athletes safe while competing on sports teams. Athletes must submit a health screen while participating in school sports, so if a teammate begins to show symptoms of COVID-19, the school will be able to contact trace. Indoor sports teams are also required to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for all players. 

“…Volleyball and basketball are required to test [once a week] and wrestling is required to test [twice a week],” said Alex Chapman, the Tam Union High School District (TUHSD) sports director.

As for watching sports games, one person from the immediate household of the athlete can watch the player’s indoor games and two people from the immediate household can attend their outdoor games. 

“[Attending games] is starting to get a little bit less restrictive and if we have the space, according to the latest guidelines, we can go up to 33% capacity…” Chapman said. 

Chapman also explains that the school has been asking outdoor sports game attendees to fill out a Google form with information about symptoms for contact tracing.

Athletes are asked to fill out a health screener, social distance, and wear masks during practices and games. The school has invested in signage enforcing safety precautions for players and the audience plus the proper protocols for entering and exiting a sports game. Jasmin Desruisseau, a freshman athlete on the Girl’s Softball team, says that she feels protected from COVID-19 while playing softball because of the safety measures the school has provided for her team. 

“…every player wears their mask and follows the precautions… [but] I think softball is already pretty spread out without the pandemic, so I don’t think COVID has made playing too much harder,” Desruisseau said. 

Although school sports teams are able to practice and compete in games, players have been forced to shift the normal behaviors between athletes due to safety precautions and fear of contracting the virus. Desruisseau says that COVID-19 has changed the normal relationship between her and her teammates while playing softball.

“… the hardest precaution to follow is staying socially distanced, for example when someone makes a good play normally you would congratulate them with a hug or high five but during COVID we can’t,” Desruisseau said. 

After one year, HS 1327 sports are beginning to reopen and athletes are having to adapt to the new normal. The administration is reducing athletes’ anxiety associated with playing sports amid COVID-19 with precautions to keep players safe from the virus. 

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