The MIAA Covid Task voted to send a list of recommendations to the MIAA Board of Directors yesterday. The recommendations called for a “Fall 2 Season” or a “Wedge Season” to be played between February 22nd to April 25th.
Football, Cheer, Unified Basketball and any sport not played in the fall would be played during the second fall season. Field hockey, soccer, golf and cross country are to go on as planned this fall.
I like the idea from the standpoint that it gives kids an opportunity to still have a football season but I have some concerns with this proposal. Here are my primary concerns.
1. Will there be a training camp? Based on the schedule, football season will be nine weeks long. You have to figure that at least the first week of the season will be dedicated to some kind of a training camp.
You cannot thrust your players into a practice and play environment right out of the gate. It is unhealthy. There will have to be some conditioning and padded practices before you get into a game week.
I am curious to see how this is addressed in a short season.
2. Will there be a post season? Based on the purposed length of the winter and spring seasons, those sports will be playing a post season. That does not appear to be the case with football.
If that is indeed the case, I do not think it is fair. Fall sports should have a post season as well. Simply playing six games and calling it a season is disingenuous and unfair to the student athletes who worked hard because they felt they had an opportunity to play for a title.
Please don’t lecture me with the standard “We are in the middle of a pandemic and something is better than nothing” nonsense. It still doesn’t mean it is fair. Fall sports teams deserve an opportunity to play for a championship.
3. What is the schedule going to look like? Scheduling is difficult no matter what time of year we are talking about. It is going to be even harder to schedule games now if you are in a league that is small.
Are teams going to be able to play non-league games? Are there going to be travel restrictions if the virus is still prevalent? There is so much uncertainty with the scheduling of games right now. Much of this stuff needs to be ironed out prior to the season being played.
4. Will there be sub-varsity games? This is a point that has also been brought up with playing a reduced fall schedule. Will there be sub-varsity programs? If so, who do they play and when. Freshmen and sophomores deserve to play too. Provided the district can afford to field sub varsity programs, they should be allowed to play.
5. Will players use locker rooms and ride buses? I mentioned this earlier but I am curious to see what transportation will look like in the spring.
Obviously it is too early to tell but transportation and the use of locker rooms are two of the primary reasons administrators don’t want to play in the fall. It is understandable but other than a potential vaccine (which is not a guarantee) and possible treatments, what will change in six months to make transportation and locker room use safer? Not much in my opinion but I hope I am wrong.
I support this proposal but there needs to be more clarity on how schools plan to proceed as we get closer. In theory, the plan makes sense but a lot has to happen in order for schools to play sports this fall and beyond.