Reading the Inter-Ac committee’s decision saddened not only Haverford’s athletes, but the entire community, as sporting events serve as a foothold for unity and joy amongst all students. Sports are postponed until at least the new year. Yes, this means no EA Day.
While the Inter-Ac committee makes the final decisions regarding athletic play, student opinions hold weight as well.
In a petition to reinstate fall and winter sports, thousands of students and parents want student-athletes to compete. Unfortunately for those who stand by the slogan, “fall sports must be played,” the decision to suspend play is concrete.
Saving self-pity and moving forward, a second decision remains. The committee proposed a new athletic schedule beginning in the new year, stating, “Should conditions permit, the league intends to hold three 7 week seasons for our student-athletes.”
This is not a final decision, meaning student opinions can influence how late-winter and spring sports look.
Many students think the proposed plan has major flaws across the board, and this conservative approach that attempts to please all actually takes away the first possibility for athletic normalcy. Having three, seven-week seasons does not allow enough time for competition, creates problems with facilities, and is unfair to spring sport athletes. Seven weeks is not enough time, they say. The first month of each season consists of preparation and training, leaving a mere three weeks for events. This crammed schedule would not allow time for non-league competition, a vital component of a well-rounded season.
Having three, seven-week seasons creates a conflict in facility sharing and does not account for abnormal weather conditions. For example, sports teams have a preseason of formal practices or workouts. How could the baseball team get ready to compete if the soccer team occupies the same field? How could any fall, outdoor sport play in below-freezing conditions?
Some students think there is a moral reason to leave the spring season as is.
Sixth Form baseball player Jonny Flieder said, “While I want everyone to play, fall and winter athletes played last year and spring athletes didn’t. Taking even more time away from us doesn’t seem like a fair solution. If we have spring sports as usual, it’s fair because each season will be skipped one time.”
Despite the logistical dilemma, plenty of student-athletes are in favor of the three shortened seasons.
“Athletes will be able to go all out for seven weeks as opposed to pacing themselves for a long season,” Sixth Form two-sport athlete Quintin Campbell said.
Fellow Sixth Form two-sport athlete Michael Bozzi agrees.
“It will also be more intense,” Bozzi said, “because we’ll be more energetic going sport to sport in a quick span of time.”
“I would rather have a small glimpse of all three sports I play rather than one long one where I miss out on playing with my fall and winter teammates,” Sixth Former Drew Loughnane said.
“I want to play football one last time in my life.”Colby kim ’21
It seems as though multi-sport athletes favor multiple mini-seasons, and they have valid reasoning behind their decision. Sixth Formers especially seek closure to each of their sports, even if they have to make sacrifices regarding the number of games and field or gym availability.
Despite the handful of reasons why short seasons pose challenges, Sixth Former Colby Kim realized that they paled in comparison to his love for every sport he plays.
Kim said, “I want to play football one last time in my life.”