Sports are an important part of our children’s lives. It improves motor coordination, strength, and endurance, lowers the risk of obesity, and increases academic achievement, self-confidence, and so much more.
This year, however, we have to weigh these benefits with the potential risks of COVID-19. Here are a few things to consider as you weigh your decisions. Check out cdc.com for excellent resources.
- Distance: How close do players have to be to play this sport? (ex: wrestling vs. tennis)
- Number of People: How many people are on a team? Is there a lot of shared equipment/ gear?
- Place: Is this sport played indoors or outdoors? Outdoors is safer. If indoors, how large is the
practice or competition space? Is it shared with other teams or not?
- Travel: Is travel outside of the county or state an anticipated part of this season? Are accommodations able to be made to keep competitions local or within team scrimmages?
- Age, or Developmental Age: Is your child mature enough to follow the protocols expected of
them? ex: keeping a mask on when appropriate, using their equipment, maintaining distance, etc.
- Plan: Has your coach clearly communicated their plan for reducing the risk of exposure? What is your level of confidence in this plan?
This year, the focus may be less on competition and more on the benefits that come through sports: skill development, an opportunity for exercise, and social interaction. It is possible to experience those benefits and stay safe!