FOOTBALL: Reaction to COVID

March 16, 2021

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Franklin v OA Scrimmage (Credits: fhs.smugmug.com)

How is the Football team reacting to COVID restrictions?

Playing sports comes with many risks such as concussion, sprains or twisted ankles. COVID- 19 has brought additional risks as well. The MIAA had developed many modifications to lower the risk of getting the virus and these modifications helped schools to limit exposure while still getting the opportunity to participate in sports. 

 

These are some of the major modifications: 

Pre-practice/game screening:

  • Prior to attending practices/games, athletes and coaches have to check their temperature: limit= 100.4 degrees
  • Stay isolated from team if signs of COVID or have had exposure to infection
  • Athletes, coaches, spectators, and any others associated with the athletic program who were exposed to COVID-19 must quarantine
    • No participation in practices or games following exposure- follow all CDC, DPH, and local board of health protocols

 

Practice Capacity Limits:

  • According to the MIAA Board of Directors, there should be no more than 25 players on any indoor surface/playing area for team/group sports.
    • Not just for games but also indoor practice as well 

 

Social Distancing:

  • Practice: 
    • Spacing is required when stretching, warming up, changing drills etc.
    • No congregating of athletes when during running drills
    • Workouts can only consist of 5-10 athletes together
    • Records are kept of who is what group and athletes cannot mix between groups

 

  • Locker Rooms: 
    • Locker rooms must remain closed per EEA guidance except for restrooms. 
    • For sports activities directly after school, there should be no more than 10 users at once
      • Must wear mask and social distance

 

  • Benches:
    • No benches should be used during practice
    • Player’s belongings should be separated-  at least 6 ft apart
    • Benches are only permitted during games with 6 ft of distancing between participants. 

 

Game protocols:

  • Masks:
    • Athletes have to wear cloth face masks that cover both the nose and the mouth. 
    • The most effective types of masks have been tightly woven cotton masks which consist of two or three layers. 
    • There are masks breaks that can be taken for drinking water or for breathing comfort but the mask breaks can only be taken within 6 feet of distance from others. 
    • Athletes that use mouth guards should prepare to have extra face coverings and the mouthguard should remain in the mouth at all times and if removed, it should be sanitized.  
    • Spectators that are allowed to come to the games are required to wear face coverings expected to follow the social distancing guidelines.

 

  • Pre- Game Prep:
    • If pregame meetings are necessary, they should be a limited representation: (i.e. coach, captain)
    • Intros are suggested to limited to avoid much contact
  • Post game Procedures:
    • Recognition of other teams must follow social distancing protocols 
    • Players should remain distance and have staggered departure times

 

We also asked two members of the team about their concerns.

Team Captain Parker Cheuvront had stated that “the new COVID guidelines have changed a few key parts of the culture. The new 45 man roster makes it very hard for upperclassmen to make connections with the underclassmen that they will eventually pass the torch to.” In addition, he had stated, “The lack of locker rooms has also made it really challenging to feel that team camaraderie that was present years ago. Although these guidelines may be frustrating at times, we are still extremely thankful to be able to have a season.”

In addition to Parker, Nipun Goel had included that “It’s really unfortunate that we can’t continue some of our favorite traditions this year like pregame pasta dinners and Thanksgiving day, but it is so great to have the opportunity to play the game we love. The culture formed over these past years has taught us to keep ‘Rowing the Boat’ no matter the terrible circumstances which we aim to do. Many leaders have emerged during this time, and its been helpful to look up to them for guidance.”

It’s great to hear that the football team has found other ways to have fun even with the tough conditions. We hope you have a great season!

 

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