VHSL Covid-19 Restrictions

New surge, new rules


Connor Wright

Coaches holding the states trophy that the team won last year at regionals.

With the resurgence of mass amounts of reported cases of the coid-19 virus comes new VHSL restrictions. The biggest one to impact athletes is the limiting of spectators to 25 individuals, or 30% of a venue’s capacity depending on whichever is lower.  The VHSL makes it very apparent that they still want competitions to happen.

The reasoning behind this is with how many competitors they have, the amount of spectators will be double or triple the amount of competitors and VHSL acknowledges this and wants to limit any potential mass spreading of the virus. There are downsides to this because of how big the teams are for every sport, the best example for this is track. Track already has a large amount of people wanting to do it, around 30-50 total participants, because of this if everybody wanted to have their parents watch them compete however, now it wouldn’t work due to the limitations on spectators. The issues extends even further when you start considering how many teams actually enter a meet. If you take the smallest official race the Lafayette track team competes in, that’s still 5 teams minimum with only 25 spectators split between them, meaning only 5 parents per team get to watch.

Three Freshmen last year at the end of their first race (Connor Wright )

The benefits of limiting this are much more long term rather than short term. The biggest one is the most obvious, preventing the mass spread of covid-19 to families, because if it so happens that one of the parents who comes and spectates, spreads it to one person who is competing, they’ll spread it to their opponents, which each competitor in that race will go back and spread it to their entire team. Which would cause a massive increase from that singular case in a singular point of interaction, to spread to potentially hundreds of cases spread throughout different school.

Dru Dunn, Lafayette senior, stated, “I think its a valid restriction and it doesn’t really affect me because I never had many people come to watch me and I never really watched other sports.”

Kent Grantz, another Lafayette senior, agreed with Dru. “I think the restrictions probably do more good than bad give our circumstances, and 25 spectators is probably gives enough room for parents with athlete children the ability to come and watch, which is what I think probably matters the most,” he said.

One of the indoor track practices from last year, that we unfortunately will not get to have this year. (Connor Wright )

Coaches Andrew Osborne and John Piggot offered their own perspectives.

Andrew Osborne stated, “I believe this pandemic has made people more resilient and mentally stronger than before. We have had to adjust for 8.5 months now to what we still don’t know —- is an end in sight.

It’s frustrating that events, practice and everyday life has changed but it’s for the better of the whole country/your local area/others.
I do believe the restriction is smart until we see a major drop in cases Again. As far as how it will affect athletes, if you practice hard and there aren’t many people, let alone fans, when you come to the race, you’re ready because they’re won’t be a large crowd. Does that make sense? If you prepare in practice race day is Fun and an Opportunity to Showcase your hard work.”
John Piggot added, “Yes, I think they should shut the whole thing down until everyone is vaccinated. I don’t think it would impact athletes at all.”

Most people seem to agree that limiting the amount of spectators is good no matter how you look at it, and are happy to just be having the experience at all during these times.