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Coronavirus Impacting High School Sports

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An empty soccer field in New York City’s Riverside Park on Friday. Photo: Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

By Dr. Fred J. Cromartie, Ed.D. |

The Coronavirus continues to impact sports and high school athletics departments are feeling that impact nationwide. The notion, from my perspective, is to play at your own risk and that is due to the continued uncertainty of COVID-19.  We have yet to see a nationwide decline in cases. In fact, the exact opposite is happening and we are seeing a continued increase in cases in many states. The information that is needed to fully engage in sport participation is still very much lacking and there are issues related to COVID-19 that are still very much unknown and unaddressed.

Parents of high school athletes need to know that the responsibility of care for an athlete that contacts COVID-19 will be theirs. 

The article by USA Today writer Josh Peter describes the risk of high school sport participation with a look and focus on an athlete who contacted the virus and its impact on the family. 

The COVID-19 virus could at any time end the upcoming fall sports season for athletes nationwide.

The Ivy league announced on July 8, 2020 that they were canceling sport for the upcoming fall 2020 season. They canceled fall sports due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The following statement was issued.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents offered the following joint statement: 
“As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.
 
With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.  

We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.”
 
Ivy League Council of Presidents
Christina Paxson, Brown University
Lee Bollinger, Columbia University
Martha Pollack, Cornell University
Philip Hanlon, Dartmouth College
Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University
Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania
Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton University
Peter Salovey, Yale University 

Dr. Fred Cromartie is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy.

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