The uncertain future of winter sports

Rachel Strong '21, Staff Writer

COVID has changed the normal routine of many school events, and winter sports are just another activity to add to the list. With the season approaching, the questions regarding health risks and protocols remain largely answered.

“The return to play guidelines for winter sports have not been provided by the MHSAA yet,” Athletic Director Christopher Booth said. “We are anticipating them within the next two weeks.”

Kate Ennis ’21 is planning to compete on the gymnastics team this winter and said she has some concerns for the upcoming season.

“It might transmit easier since you’re not outside in the open air, so that also makes me nervous my season won’t start on time,” Ennis said. “I did hear something about how indoor volleyball during the fall had more issues and outdoor sports, so that makes me a little worried.”

Ennis said she feels more at risk practicing indoor than outdoor.

“I’m not sure yet if we’ll be wearing masks, so that would definitely change the amount of risk. If we do, I would feel more comfortable,” Ennis said.

Hockey player, Sam Cielieska ’21, said he also has concerns about playing sports indoors due to the cases.

“There have been a lot of cases through other practices, so I’m worried it might possibly spread to hockey,” Cielieska said. “There’s a risk playing an outdoor sport, however, with the protective gear as well as the helmet I think would be safe.”

Cielieska said he is holding out hope for the upcoming season despite the changing circumstances.

“I really hope my season is not postponed since it’s my senior year,” Cielieska said. “I want to be able to play with my team one last time.”

According to Booth, even though the rules and guidelines haven’t been announced yet through MHSAA, GPPSS is hopeful that sports will be safe.

“The amount of people allowed depends on capacity, the gym will allow for two family members. The natatorium for swim meets will allow one parent because of the limited seating,” Booth said. “Overall, we want to keep everyone safe.”