Giving them a chance

Guidelines are added for winter sports seasons in order to try and maintain a season for high school athletes


Grace Elder

Girls basketball head coach Adam Morelock draws up a play during a timeout. The Lady Cards will only be allowed two spectators per player because of new guidelines.

On Nov. 30, all Marion county schools switched to full virtual learning due to the coronavirus, and this will force some reevaluation of the athletic guidelines for high school sports. Athletic director Brian Murphy is focusing on the people who are most important to him and the school first.

“The first thing we are concerned about is our players and coaches…,” Murphy said. “For the athletes it is the same as it was in the fall.” 

Rules such as required masks and social distancing will be the same as they were in the fall for players, coaches and spectators. However there is now a limit of two spectators per athlete which will make for big events in sports to be less of a threat. According to Murphy, although these challenges are not physically hard to follow, it will still prove to be a difficulty.

“(The guidelines) are difficult for all the sports, so I don’t expect for it to be a problem,” Murphy said. “But it is certainly a challenge for everybody.” 

Although some sports like swimming can maintain distance and control exposure, sports such as wrestling and basketball require close contact between multiple athletes, which will be a bigger challenge for those teams.

“The biggest thing in the winter for us is to minimize the exposure…,” Murphy said. “When they are out of the game, then you wear the mask and social distance.” 

On Jan.15, the Marion County Health Department and schools will reevaluate the current situation and make a plan for the upcoming seasons based on what they see necessary.

“We will start with the same protocols and make adjustments when we need to,” Murphy said.

Although the future of winter and spring sports is still very uncertain, according to Murphy, if people do what they can to limit the spread of COVID-19, there is still hope.

“My hope and all our hopes is that things will be different, but I just don’t know that they will be,” Murphy said.