What it’s like to play volleyball during a pandemic

What+it%27s+like+to+play+volleyball+during+a+pandemic

Alyson Gonda, Ally Quirk, and Bella DeBarr

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were a lot of questions about how sports would be handled. The OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) had to plan out rules and regulations for each sport; each sport and school had to have capacity limits, masks, some type of social distance and different seating arrangements to provide safety for each player and attendee. 

Volleyball is considered to be a low-contact sport in the eyes of OHSAA. Their only concern mostly was the ball going back and forth between teams. After each play, the volleyball must be changed out at the score table and sanitized before it can be used by the players again. For substitutions, the players are not allowed to be touching hands on the sidelines like usual, to try and follow social distance rules. One player must be at the ten-foot mark and the other must stand at the net. Seating arrangements for the audience are provided to also pursue social distance. Masks must be worn at all times by the crowd but if you are a player in the game, you do not have to wear it unless you choose to. Before Covid, teams would switch sides after each set, but now teams have to stay on one side the whole match to try and stop the spread of the virus if someone has it. To follow the capacity limit that has now been placed, each home player gets four tickets and each guest player gets two tickets. 

As for guidelines for practices, all coaches have to be wearing a mask the whole time. The players have to wear theirs as they walk in to get their temperature checked, but can take them off afterwards if they don’t have a fever. After each drill, all balls used have to be sanitized and placed back into the cart. Social distance has to be followed as much as possible. 

To travel for away games, some schools can choose not to use buses and drive to the school themselves. However, if the school does choose to use a bus, then everyone must sanitize their hands coming onto the bus and must be wearing a mask the whole ride. 

Covid has stopped a lot of events from happening but everyone must abide by the rules of their school, and if they play a sport, the OHSAA provides them to keep their season going.