Staff Editorial: Low-risk sports deemed safe to return after restrictions are lifted

Medium to high-risk sports/activities should be delayed


Junior Juan Russy skates up the ice with the puck in his possession Nov. 12. After Gov. Tim Walz’s restrictions end, students believe high-risk sports like hockey may be delayed longer than low-risk sports such as Nordic skiing

Restrictions were imposed Nov. 20 for winter sports, delaying them for four weeks. Gov. Tim Walz will make an announcement on whether the delay will be extended, or end, on Dec. 18. Walz has broken up sports into three categories: low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. Low-risk sports are practiced individually. Medium and high-risk sports are practiced in groups and surpass the guidelines of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

The Echo Editorial Board believes some sports should return, but it should be up to the schools to make the decision. Many schools have done a great job of bringing back normalcy while still being safe. Sports teams should come up with ways to regulate their activities while still trying to practice at their best capability.

Outdoor sports are considered acceptable since they have more practice spaces and most of them are individual activities. Indoor sports are mostly medium to high-risk. Sports like gymnastics and swimming are no-contact sports so they pose less of a risk than hockey or basketball. 

High-risk sports should not come back until COVID-19 cases significantly decrease in Minnesota. Prior to the restrictions, sports were struggling to follow the guidelines. A risk posed for most sports is carpooling. Whether it is rides to games and races or simply to practice, carpooling is common amongst teams. This is a clear risk since there would be too many people in a car. 

Although COVID-19 guidelines advise against the startup of winter sports, athletes want to be able to play for their mental health. Returning some low-risk sports would be the best decision right now since it provides the activity needed by many but can still be regulated and keep students safe. 

In-school activities would not be safe to return to even during hybrid learning at 25%. Theater and other activities should not start until later, when it is safer to have larger groups of people in an enclosed space.

The Echo Editorial Board believes low-risks sports should return as long as athletes follow COVID-19 guidelines. Activities such as clubs and high-risk sports should be delayed and returned to — once COVID-19 cases decrease.