Should Maine High School Students Need to Be Fully Vaccinated to Play Sports This Winter? [POLL]
Since the fall athletic season began, there have been numerous events postponed and canceled because of COVID. Teams have had to quarantine. Numerous schools have had to go remote for a day or two while contact tracing was conducted.
All fall sports, with the exception of volleyball, have been outdoors and have been mask-free. Volleyball has been played indoors, with most schools requiring masks to be worn by the players, officials, and fans in the stands.
The first countable basketball games for the 2021-22 season are on Friday, December 12. As of September 20, there are 82 days until December 12. Each passing day brings us closer to the start of the season.
I was one of the lucky few who was able to watch in-person high school basketball games last year. I wore a mask, My smile was visible through my masks every time I was at a basketball game broadcasting it. Not having fans, bands, and students in the stands was so difficult. So what are we going to do this year to keep everyone safe and allow the games to go on and allow a "normal" experience with the fans, bands, students, and families in the gyms?
Let me offer the following facts before we go further.
- Playing high school sports is a privilege and is not a "right."
- I believe that everyone should be vaccinated unless they have a valid medical or religious exemption and those should be given only after a thorough application and checking of the circumstances.
- I believe that all fans, family, and students entering a gym should mask up this winter.
Now, that being said, I also will take it a step further, and say that anyone who is playing on a high school team should be fully vaccinated. Yep, if you want to play high school basketball, run indoor track, wrestle, swim or cheer, you should be fully vaccinated, in my opinion.
Think of it this way... you're playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not for yourself. If you catch COVID, you risk infecting your teammates. If you catch COVID you risk infecting the opposition. Imagine battling all year and qualifying to play in the Tournament and then having your team forced to bow out because you or one of your teammates caught COVID.
I know this is probably controversial but isn't this about being a good teammate? I'm shocked to learn that Chris Sale is not vaccinated. This after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and catching COVID in the spring. Look at what the Red Sox endured in late August and early September with 12 players forced to go on the COVID list. They almost ruined their playoff chances.
I want the opportunity to broadcast all the games this winter. I want you to be in the gym. I want to get back to "normal". I don't want anyone to get sick. I'm praying that Maine gets the Delta variant under control. I hope you are wearing your mask now and taking all the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your loved ones and the community safe.
So what do you think?