PHOTO: Players rest during practices as they operate with modified rules.
By Dakota Rutherford,
Davis High fall sports conditioning practices are continuing during COVID-19, but with restrictions. Every sport has had to make modifications to their practices to fit the Davis Joint Unified School District, Yolo County and California Interscholastic Federation guidelines.
This means all practices are held outdoors, players and coaching are social distancing, and no equipment is shared. Players and coaches are wearing masks when they come and go from practices and players only remove them during activities. Health questions and temperature checks are being conducted before practices.
In order to return to normal, Yolo County needs to move down COVID-19 case tiers. With each tier that the county moves down, the fewer restrictions to sports there are.
“It is unclear as to when athletics will completely return to normal,” athletic director Jeff Lorenson said.
Before any sport was allowed to return to in-person training, they had to submit a COVID-19 return-to-play plan and meet with Lorenson.
Field hockey is one of the fall sports that is having a preseason during COVID-19. Practices started over summer and have continued twice a week, either in person or over zoom.
Elizabeth Hogan, the DHS field hockey coach, wrote her COVID-19 return-to-play plan using the guidelines from CIF, DJUSD, Yolo County, and USA Field Hockey.
Each player has to bring her own ball, stick and water to practice to avoid sharing equipment. They are also unable to work on some skills that are necessary for the game.
“We can’t wait to be able to pass, shoot and play small games. However, we are happy the administration is allowing us to continue to practice,” Hogan said.
The rules put in place due to COVID-19 require team players to work as individuals instead of as a team.
Like field hockey, the men’s water polo has also continued practices during COVID-19. Although in-water practices have not started for the high school team yet, they have started strength training.
The training takes place outside with everyone social distancing. The same health and temperature checks that are done for field hockey are done for water polo as well. All of the equipment that is used is thoroughly sanitized after each use.
“The rules are challenging but it’s the best we can do right now,” said Tracy Stapleton, the DHS men’s water polo coach.
Most sports, like the women’s golf team, have been postponed later into the year. According to golf coach Michele Salisbury, the team would usually start practices in August but this year has to wait until March. The season will be much shorter and there will be fewer matches.
As of right now, all sports are planning to return to play. The timeline, though, is still unsure. The goal is for fall sports to have practices return to normal in December and for competitions and games to begin in January.