The New Normal: Basketball in the Midst of Covid-19


Mike McNally

Oakdale Girls Basketball prior to Covid-19 lining up for the National Anthem before a game.

Hope Crispell, Writer

From protests to twitter posts, many students and families have been fighting to bring back sports, especially for seniors. In efforts to warm back up to playing, teams have set up return to plays for multiple weeks to begin conditioning and socially distanced skill work.


As many RTPs are now coming to an end, a vote was released; surprising, and exciting for some. The Board of Education voted to send students back to a hybrid model and allowed for sports seasons, starting with winter sports to begin playing as soon as December. As for most sports, practicing and competing outside allows for easier Covid-19 regulations, however, basketball has to swerve in a different direction; an indoor approach.


Because it is an indoor sport, players have to wear a mask inside the gym while working out to protect them from the virus spreading amongst the team. Two senior basketball players, Olivia Van Scoyoc and Bryant Palmer, are some of the students eager to get back onto the court.


 Palmer explains, “It gets very hot and sweaty in the mask [while] working out. Wearing the mask is not fun but it is needed.” 


Players are aware of the risks and are doing all they can to stay safe and continue playing the sport they love.


Although times are still unknown, Covid cases are increasing and varying, athletes have their fingers crossed the vote to play will stick.


 Palmer expresses his happiness towards RTPs, “It gets me out of the house and allows me to work on my game. This is also one of the big things kids are missing out on… [students] get a break from the computer and [can] get some energy out.”


Van Scoyoc explains the basis of the average Return to Play, “RTP consists of outdoor conditioning and then less intensity skills work in the gym.”


 Although both athletes agree on these sessions being more fun-based and lower intensity, having the opportunity to get back to playing has benefited all players in preparation for a possible upcoming season.


Some have concerns about Covid-19 exposure during Return to Plays and the winter sports season, however Palmer says he has had no concerns towards his health, “I do all the things the CDC asks to keep me protected and haven’t gotten it.” 


Many are left wondering to hear further announcements as the pandemic carries on, but athletes are maintaining their hope by working out in the gym throughout the week, staying protected, and trying to feel as normal as they can.