Editorial: Sports Return Means Tough Decisions for Athletes


Pavle Ristic

The UC High Football Team practicing in the stadium.

Pavle Ristic, Sports Editor

By Pavle Ristic

Sports Editor

   As more and more sports make their return to competition, there are new battles brewing. Had CIF planned better, teams wouldn’t be fighting over field time, students wouldn’t have to overlap or choose between sports, and athletes would have at a lesser health risk.

   UC High sports teams are being forced to compete with each other for field space as all sports are trying to fit in practice times and games. Football, field hockey, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys soccer, girls soccer, and track and field are all vying for their time and use of the fields. Even in non-COVID affected seasons, scheduling conflicts still occur betweens teams trying to practice and hold games throughout the week. Those conflicts have only grown as such a large number of teams all return to competition at once due to a judge’s order.

   Junior Colin Banta plays for the Varsity Boys Soccer Team which practices from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with practice often lasting even longer than the official 9:30 end time. Banta shared, “It is definitely a less than ideal practice window. It is such an awkward time where you have to rush to finish homework and eat before and when you get home it’s too late to do anything substantial but a little too early to go right to bed.”

   Track Coach John Hutsel discussed some of the issues that have risen: “Every team [that] is playing right now is trying to fill up their schedule with as many games as they can. Everyone wants to make the most of the chance to play. Teams are trying to practice and play, and there simply is not enough field space for everyone to do everything they want.”

   Upon further inspection, it is clear that the root of the problem is CIF allowing for all sports to return at once. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a judge ruled that because pro and collegiate sports are allowed to compete then high school sports should be allowed as well. After the ruling, schools across the county have allowed even the highest risk sports to return to action (sandiegouniontribune.com)

   Senior Football and Track Athlete Harrison Hansen has seen the effects of the season’s timing: “I have been going to both track and football every day so far this season; it takes a toll on your body. Everyone has had to make sacrifices during this COVID-19 season, and the situation is less than ideal but we have to deal with it.” 

   Athletes like Hansen have had to either participate in two sports or make the difficult decision between sports they would have usually played in different seasons during the year. Also, because of the overlap of sports, teammates are in close proximity for extended periods of time and the inter-team mingling is an unnecessary risk.

   At the end of the day, athletes are happy that they have any chance to compete while staying safe, but had there been some increased foresight and planning it could have been that much better. Athletes shouldn’t have a Sophie’s Choice-like dilemma when they think about which sport to play and what level of risk they are taking with COVID-19.