What will sports look like in the spring?

Regardless+of+if+Lincoln+returns+to+in-person+learning+in+the+spring%2C+some+sports+may+have+much+more+difficulty+with+the+increased+regulations+imposed+by+PIL+and+the+OSAA+due+to+COVID-19+and+social+distancing.

Holden Kilbane

Regardless of if Lincoln returns to in-person learning in the spring, some sports may have much more difficulty with the increased regulations imposed by PIL and the OSAA due to COVID-19 and social distancing.

Tabitha Lee

Sports are an integral part of Lincoln, but their future during COVID-19 is unclear. Members of the Lincoln community are wondering what the 2020-21 athletic year is going to look like.

In August, the Oregon School Activities Association created a new calendar with three distinct seasons. January and February (season two) would be for winter sports. March and April (season three) would be for fall sports, and May and June (season four) would be for spring sports. This is the plan as it stands, but there is still a fair amount of uncertainty, starting with season one this fall. 

“As Covid numbers are increasing and decreasing, that’s changing the direction that the district decides to go in,” said Eric Dettman, head cross country and track and field coach. “We’re just waiting to hear back from them on when we can meet and what that’s going to look like.” 

If and when students do go back to in person school, expect much more logistical difficulty. From transportation to practices to competitions, safety will become a much bigger priority.   

Some sports will be impacted more than others. Sports like track and cross country, which was just approved by Portland Public Schools to begin practice on Tuesday, October 20, can be practiced more easily with distance. Contact sports like wrestling, however, which Gov. Kate Brown identified as a “high risk” of transmission due to the close physical training and competitions, will have a much harder time following regulations if they participate in-person.

“We have to be really conscious of distancing and how we’re setting it up so we can maximize our training time. For track and field and cross country, it’s a little bit easier to socially distance,” said Dettman. “Everyone uses their own javelin, their own pole vault pole versus a sport like football or soccer where everyone’s using the same ball.” 

While teams unfortunately don’t know a lot about how sports are going to go, sophomore soccer player Ursula Tiegs is feeling optimistic. Coaches and teams are maintaining contact online and continue to prepare for when they are able to meet and compete in person.

“My ideal outcome is that everything is already back to normal [by spring] and we get to play,”  said Ursula Tiegs.

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