Sports seasons around the world have been delayed or cancelled — or, in some cases, completely transformed — thanks to the coronavirus pandemic still raging. The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in many countries around the world, but life goes on. Here in the United States, this is apparent in the way high schools have approached programs beloved by the majority of their student bodies.
For example, in North Olmsted, Ohio, the North Olmsted City School District recently decided to cancel their high school football season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Contact tracing protocols were immediately put into place, and another nine students were found to be infected. Two staff members tested positive as well.
Quarantines in Alaska have resulted after many patrons of a hockey game tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak occurred in part because Anchorage is experiencing a surge in cases. In only a three-day period, at least 300 students and staff tested positive in the areas surrounding Anchorage, Chugiak, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Kenai, Juneau, Palmer, Soldotna, and Wasilla.
College football hasn’t faired much better. Dozens of games were canceled or postponed by the end of October, not even ten weeks into the football season. Daily testing will be conducted by the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 in order to dutifully set new dates for postponed seasons while they decide whether or not additional cancellations are recommended. Postponements have already occurred at Houston, Baylor, Memphis, Virginia Tech, and more.
Schools and colleges around the country have transitioned to online learning for many classes, and some have canceled or postponed on-site residency — which makes it all the more difficult to implement popular sports programs. Many students — and college officials — have failed to take coronavirus seriously, resulting in additional obstacles. What members of faculty will decide to do in the future is anyone’s guess.