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  #31 (permalink)  
Old Tue Aug 04, 2020, 10:30am
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Bubble Guppies ...

Here's the latest idea being bounced around here in Connecticut.

Have school sports teams, coaching, practices, etc., just no interscholastic games, only intrasquad games (not intramurals (there will be tryouts, certified coaches, school uniforms, officials, etc.) and not to be called scrimmages (because these would have all the attributes of interscholastic games, scoreboards, uniforms, officials, fans, cheerleaders, band, etc., minus other school opponents).

Student athletes would get almost all the educational advantages of participating on a school team, teamwork, character building, physical exercise, etc., with the health advantages of being in a school "bubble" (contact tracing, etc.) and not having the health issues associated with crowded bus rides to physically interact with student athletes from another town or school.

Proponents say that this is better than having nothing.

From the Hartford Courant:

Dr. Sten Vermund, a pediatrician, epidemiologist and the dean of the Yale School of Public Health, told The Courant last week, “The whole concept of hygiene is kind of irrelevant on the sports field. At the end of the day, physical distancing is not possible.”

Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, part of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, said Thursday, “I think contact sports are not a good idea. You can’t have a bubble in high school (sports). You have transportation; you have a lot of things that are going to complicate having a football season. I think for one year, we’re probably going to have to take a miss on it.”

Push most everything off the athletic docket for calendar year 2020.

Or just allow athletic operations to proceed as they normally would — without games.

I know I just pulled the chain on a light bulb that many of you will want to break over my head, but hear me out.

Conversation supporting the need for the resumption of high school sports in the fall has centered largely on the well-being of student-athletes and all that is lost in the absence of organized athletics — structure, discipline, camaraderie, confidence and on and on with what’s obvious.

There it was again in the CIAC’s introduction to its plan, those sentiments buttressed by the contention that “in-person instruction, education-based interscholastic athletics, and other cocurricular activities … are critical to the cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and mental health of our students.”

No doubt. No question. No argument here. Sports, for many, are the backbone of an adolescent foundation and educational experience and, yes, thousands of kids have already been robbed of something irreplaceable.

So set sports off and running, to an extent. We need the programs, the coaches, the teammates, the teaching, the learning, the coming together, the self-discovery, the experience. We just don’t need the actual games right now.

Practice, gather, learn, teach, plan — and devote would-be game days to intrasquad scrimmages or even group community service initiatives voted on by team members. Make what you can of a situation still worth embracing. We want our students, first and foremost, to receive a diversified education and rewarding experience, and that can be accomplished without the few hours of actual competition, without the thrill of victory or sting of defeat, without finding out which teams fit into inevitably bizarre playoff scenarios that haven’t even yet been developed.
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Last edited by BillyMac; Tue Aug 04, 2020 at 10:42am.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old Wed Aug 05, 2020, 03:29pm
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High School Sports ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyMac View Post
Here's the latest idea being bounced around here in Connecticut. Have school sports teams, coaching, practices, etc., just no interscholastic games, only intrasquad games (not intramurals (there will be tryouts, certified coaches, school uniforms, officials, etc.) and not to be called scrimmages (because these would have all the attributes of interscholastic games, scoreboards, uniforms, officials, fans, cheerleaders, band, etc., minus other school opponents).
From the NFHS:

... the overarching reason that high schools and state associations are working with government, education and health leaders to offer these programs is that many students desperately need these activities. The experience of playing on a high school team may be one of the only positive aspects of their lives, and the high school coach or director of a speech or music group may be the only positive role model they have.

In some cases, the opportunity to play sports is the chief motivator to attend classes, graduate, obtain a job and begin a life on their own. Regardless of whether the structure is the same as in the past, or if the same number of games are played or even if state championships occur, the continuance of these programs is crucial. And, in recent meetings with leaders of state associations, finances or concerns about state championships are not the primary topic.

In all cases, minimizing risks to students, coaches, officials and others is the No. 1 consideration in conducting high school sports. However, with students now disengaged from activities for five months, the physical health concerns of the virus must be weighed against the psychological health concerns of being separated from school and activities.

A state-by-state review of plans for conducting sports and activities substantiates the herculean efforts by state associations to offer all sports at some point during the 2020-21 school year.

The latest NFHS 2020-21 Sports Seasons Modifications map indicates that 31 state associations have altered their sports offerings to some degree for the coming year. Those modifications range from states that are delaying fall sports by a few weeks, to 10 states that will not be playing football until the winter or spring seasons, and five state associations (California, District of Columbia), Maryland, Nevada, Virginia) that will not have any sports until at least December.

Decisions on re-opening of schools have impacted plans on restarting activities by some state associations. In most cases, if schools have not returned to in-person learning and are continuing in a virtual format, sports and other activities are not permitted. It appears that some states may be reconsidering that stance; however, and given the right circumstances, this could open up activities for more students.

While some schools may be forced to start classes virtually, lower-risk sports such as golf, tennis and cross country (with modifications), which are conducted outdoors and have built-in physical distancing by the nature of the sport, may be acceptable.

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I was in prison and you came to visit me. (Matthew 25:36)
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old Wed Aug 05, 2020, 07:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdoebler View Post
We have already spread basketball out over all six playing days available to address the shortage of officials and days with too many games. Losing officials to other sports and not having days available to play games would be very difficult.

There could easily be a reduction in total games for teams, but that is yet to be determined.

On the other end our main assignor said he expects a large influx of officials due to the amount of people in the gig economy that have lost work and hours.
From what I've seen and been told in my area:
  • Some officials who officiated multiple fall sports have opted to drop one or more sports to focus on one sport only.
  • Renewals in my association appear to be way down, and some officials have already chosen to drop one or more sports they officiated in the past. This could be for any of the following:
    (a) The general uncertainty of schools reopening and sports being allowed to have their seasons.
    (b) Older officials not wanting to put themselves at risk.
    (c) People waiting until the new extended deadline to register when they hope to have more idea about whether their sports will be played in some capacity.
    (d) The usual attrition from people unwilling or unable to continue officiating.
Basketball, baseball, and softball are played near daily here. It's not uncommon for many officials to be asked to work 5-6 days a week, especially in the last two sports, out of necessity because of how thin the ranks are -- especially for spring sports whose 4:00 and 4:30 PM start times preclude anyone working 9-5 to officiate those sports/games. As it stands now, enough officials being sick, injured, or last-second call-offs is enough to drive assignors crazy as they ensure the varsity games are sufficiently covered even if it means sub-varsity games end up being officiated solo.

Adding to the issue here was the local CYO's decision to stop playing games on Sunday except for Thanksgiving and Christmas tournaments. Many Sunday games have been moved to weeknights which means CYO assignors are now competing with high school assignors to find officials for those games. As a result, some of these CYO night games in basketball might have one or both officials coming from a nearby 4:00 freshman game to cover one or two CYO games starting at 6:00 (sometimes moved to 6:15 or 6:30 to accommodate those officials, or simply started as soon as possible once the officials arrive and take the court).

With the likelihood that this year's officiating groups will be even thinner than prior years, I easily see more officials that predominantly work sub-varsity games being asked to take on the occasional varsity game on an as-needed basis for better or worse.

One last concern might be what happens if a player or coach in a game contracts COVID-19. In basketball, it's possible that all three crews (and up to seven officials) would need to self-quarantine for two weeks -- giving assignors that much more of a headache as they try to keep as many games covered as possible.
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