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Soccer Risk is HIGH in Our Covid World

Updated on July 25, 2020
Melis Ann profile image

I'm a mother, environmental scientist, and Covid contact tracer who does research on a variety of health-related topics. Copyright 2020

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.

Envision the heavy breathing in each others faces while they push on each other all the way down the field (high risk, not moderate)
Envision the heavy breathing in each others faces while they push on each other all the way down the field (high risk, not moderate)

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.


Envision the grunting as they jump and push on each other (high risk exposure to respiratory droplets).
Envision the grunting as they jump and push on each other (high risk exposure to respiratory droplets).

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.

Who is breathing my expelled breath? No protective masks or barriers as defined by moderate level (soccer is high risk, that's why).
Who is breathing my expelled breath? No protective masks or barriers as defined by moderate level (soccer is high risk, that's why).

Hidden Agenda?

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.

Envision how they are yelling at their teammates for backup (high risk for respiratory droplets in each others faces)
Envision how they are yelling at their teammates for backup (high risk for respiratory droplets in each others faces)

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

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    • Melis Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Melis Ann 

      2 weeks ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      I hear you Shauna - I'm with you completely!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Well, I don't care if my decisions are unpopular. Dying is unpopular. Losing freedom is unpopular. I will do what I feel is right for me and my son.

      Our culture has become very flawed. It will take individuals to stand up in order for positive change to happen.

      It comes down to being a leader or being a follower. I choose not to jump off that bridge just because it's what everyone else is doing.

      When families lose loved ones because they became complacent and went with the flow, perhaps they'll rethink their actions (or lack thereof).

      I certainly don't want to be one of them.

      I'm 63. My only child is 28. My parents are 82. Shoulda woulda coulda is not in my vocabulary with regard to the current situation.

      Be safe. Make decisions that give you a good chance at being well.

      Much respect,

      Shauna

    • Melis Ann profile imageAUTHOR

      Melis Ann 

      2 weeks ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Thanks for your comment and support Shauna. There are very few families willing to do what it takes. People are afraid to make unpopular decisions even when they know what should be done. It's a culture problem and disappointing to see that it is so pervasive. Stay well!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Melis, our country has put economics and love of sports before the health of the humans that inhabit our continent. It's deplorable. The numbers have risen exponentially of COVID positive and COVID-related deaths in the past month. And many governors (including the governor of Florida) refuse to shut the state(s) back down. Does Trump really expect to be re-elected by the people in view of how this pandemic is being handled?

      Just the other day I heard on our local news that three newborns in Florida were born COVID positive because their mothers contracted or were exposed to the virus while these innocent lives were in the womb.

      When will it stop?

      It's now up to the parents and each individual citizen to do what they feel is right in slowing and halting the spread of this deadly virus.

      I hope you disallow your sons to resume their positions with their respective soccer teams.

      No one else is looking out for the general well-being of Americans. It's now up to each and every one of us to make independent, rightful decisions.

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