Spring sports are one of the most important parts of the school year for many students, athletes and coaches across the country. Spring sports give students and teachers a break from school and give every student a chance to enjoy playing their favorite sport or activity.
In the fall of 2020, many states and counties decided to shut down sports due to the risk of close contact that comes with most school sports. Along with the low amount of adults vaccinated at the time and the high cases across the country. Sam Page, the St. Louis county executive, decided to put numerous restrictions in place for fall sports, including: no competitions; and a maximum of 30 athletes allowed at practices.
“The positive rate between 15 and 19 years old is near 20%, whereas all other age groups the rate is near 6%.” Said Page to KMOV.
This news caused a huge uproar by students, athletes, coaches and parents. According to KMOV, the Parkway School District Athletic Director said:
“The frustration level that’s built up in Parkway and across St. Louis County is that we’re not allowed to play games, yet in St. Charles County, Jefferson County there’s activities going on, It’s tough, it’s not easy. It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s out of our control right now.”
This was the reaction of most athletes and parents that heard the difficult news. Many things have changed since fall 2020. For example, a large number of teachers and parents have gotten vaccinated, and the cases among high school students has decreased throughout the year. In February, Page announced new changes to the restrictions for youth adult sports.,
“Tournaments can return for both adult and youth sport leagues, however there will still be restrictions on the limit of people in one place at a time and interacting with people.” Said Page.
This is a large change compared to last fall and last year. The county’s COVID-19 restrictions still mandates masks for the fans, and if the competition or practice is inside, then the players must wear masks as well. There will also be a limit to the number of spectators at games.
Spring sports for Lindbergh High School officially start in April and tryouts start the same month. Lindbergh announced on March 15th that they planned on following COVID-19 guidelines, which meant they could allow spectators back to the games. Spectators may come back if they follow specific guidelines, these guidelines include: masks must be worn at all times, social distancing and two family members are allowed per athlete for indoor games and competitions. Lindbergh High School teams are allowed to travel to different schools for tournaments as long as they follow that county’s COVID-19 guidelines. Regarding the post season tournaments, Lindbergh will make decisions when the time comes so they can pay attention to the number of cases and amount of athletes and students quarantined at the time. Another rule planted by Saint Louis County is about whether or not officials need to wear masks.,
“Officials are not required to wear a face covering while officiating games outside.” Said Saint Louis County Cares.
This change is effective April 9th, 2021. Regarding school sports in Spring of 2021.
“Schools should continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials to help protect the whole school community, including those with special health needs.” Said the CDC.
Scott Luczak (Athletic Director at LHS) says,
“Our coaches and athletes have done a great job following protocols to limit the number of quarantined students. Last spring was terrible for everyone to miss the entire season, and it is a good feeling to see all of them in action this spring. It has not been ideal and it’s far from normal, but being involved in something is an important part of high school…especially this year. Happy to see our kids get to compete!” Said Scott Luczak (Athletic Director).
“COVID-19 has made us all have to be more cautious. We can’t do things as carelessly this year. Some girls have gotten quarantined and they couldn’t play for a bit, which wasn’t the best. Also, for inside practices we have to wear masks and that is not fun because it gets very hot. It is good that we have unlimited crowds, though. Overall, this soccer season would obviously be better without COVID-19, but I still think it is very fun and we are making the most of it.” Said Cecilia Schwartz (9).