We love Texas high school sports, but the UIL should be prepared to delay them further

Dallas News

Like many Americans, we had hoped that, with proper precautions, sports could resume as the pleasant distraction they have long been in our lives. Whether pro, college or high school, the games our athletes play are important to many of us. They bring us joy and (too often in Dallas lately) sadness. They give us something to share with one another that matters.

But with the worrisome restart of Major League Baseball, and the obvious problem that case counts and communal spread are nowhere near under control, it is time, especially for high school sports, to be prepared to continue to delay seasons.

The University Interscholastic League has postponed Class 6A and 5A football and volleyball for five weeks to Sept. 7 with other sports teams and lower classes remaining as scheduled for August. With these schedule changes came the league’s announcement of its “Risk Mitigation Guidelines,” which include the following: “Parents must ensure they do not send a student to participate in UIL activities if the student has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19.”

We are concerned about this guideline for two reasons. As many youths and others are asymptomatic when they contract the virus, relying on symptoms to raise the flag of infection is a poor choice. Additionally, many families do not have the resources to get their children regularly tested like Major League Baseball. And, even with constant testing, the organization is experiencing an outbreak. We know that cross-country travel is involved in Major League Baseball, therefore making it riskier, but there is still travel involved in Texas high school sports. Since the UIL has no testing procedures in place, outbreaks are all but inevitable, as the virus is still rampant in our state.

Also, the UIL should not permit schools to allow spectators at 50% capacity. Gathering right now even at reduced capacity is too risky. We don’t say this lightly because we know how important it is for young athletes to have their families watch them in person and how important it is to families to be able to experience the games. But the direction of the disease, at this point, just doesn’t warrant the risk.

One final concern to point out: The UIL did not specify planning around what happens if a team has infection. Will games be canceled or will a season end due to positive COVID-19 cases? What is the limit on infections before games are canceled or forfeited? One sick player? Multiple? It is unclear in the UIL’s current plans, yet should be specified.

Calling for the cancellation of sports altogether is something we are reluctant to join in. We are sensitive to the importance of sports for many student athletes and their families, understanding that these young people have dedicated themselves to their games and that some need the season if they are to fulfill dreams of playing in college.

But at this point, given where we stand with communal spread, the UIL should be prepared to delay and further delay the fall sports season, while also working to write stronger, clearer policies.

We hope that our kids can play again soon, but the health of the broader community needs to come first.


Source link

You May Also Like

About the Author: Dallas News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The maximum upload file size: 10 MB.
You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, other.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.