Soccer Risk is HIGH in Our Covid World
Soccer risk moved to moderate?!?
The administration in Massachusetts just changed soccer from High risk to Moderate. This is the opposite of protecting our kids in youth sports. They had thoughtfully put together a plan outlining guidance on youth sports a few weeks ago, but today changed one thing - the risk level for soccer. Just take a look at the definitions below - it's so clear soccer should be high risk. This is hurting our kids by overexposing them. And for those that feel unsafe or live with high-risk family members, they now have to choose not to follow what everyone else is participating in.
High Risk Defined
The definition of high risk is "sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants". This is the definition of soccer itself! Look at the other sports listed as high risk (basketball, football, lacrosse) - soccer is at this same level of close contact.
Moderate Risk Defined
Moderate risk is for sports that involve "intermittent contact" (that is not soccer), "but with protective equipment or mitigating measures in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants (e.g., wearing masks, modifying play)" (that is not soccer). If Level 1 and 2 are allowed for moderate risk sports which allow "competitive practices (intra-team/group games, contact drills and scrimmages)" where are the "mitigating measures" and "protective equipment" in soccer? Can we really say soccer is the same category as baseball? Look at the sports listed as moderate (softball, swimming, volleyball, dance class, fencing, sailing, etc.). Soccer is the only contact sport in the list.
It feels that the people who pushed for this change have an invested interest in making sure soccer can be played at a higher level. It also feels like those that approved this decision have not actually watched a high school soccer game. Since my teenage boys play soccer, I have seen many years of soccer, and it is a high-intensity, full-contact sport. These boys are running together shoulder to shoulder, down the field (extended/close contact), pushing on each other (close contact), battling over the ball (close contact), tackling each other to get the ball (close contact), meanwhile yelling and grunting (expelling respiratory droplets). I have many photos and videos that show what I'm describing.
This is the opposite of letting people be involved in their activities in a safe way. This is just another reminder that our public health is not the first priority and that there are others influencing decisions for their personal interest. We must protect our kids in their sports. The administration is taking this sport away from us by allowing a higher level of play than is safe.
Massachusetts Misguided Guidance for Youth Sports
NCAA Defines Soccer as High Risk
NCAA just reclassified soccer risk level from moderate to high. They made this change in the right direction when they considered the contact risk for this sport against the science.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Melis Ann