The impact of COVID-19 on sports


Photo provided by: Joelle Wittig

Girls lacrosse is just one of the spring sports that was interrupted by the spreading pandemic, COVID-19. A game tradition for the girls lacrosse teams was for the starting lineup to run by their teammates and hit sticks with them when their name was called over the speaker. Before the game on Feb. 27, junior Jaylee Ault ran past her teammates and onto Tom Storey Field. “It gives me motivation to play the rest of the game and it makes me realize that the hard work is paying off,” Ault said.

Joelle Wittig, Editor-in-Chief

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread across the world, causing significant disruptions for sports players and fans alike. Sporting events, both locally and worldwide, have been postponed or canceled due to the growing concerns of the virus in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases. 

“The coronavirus happening this year has really been an unexpected and unfortunate setback to most,” sophomore Madison Jones said. “The coronavirus has affected me personally with sports due to cancellations. The league I play soccer for has canceled all national events and games for the next two months. Along with training cancellations, gyms and other speed and agility facilities are closed as well.”

Spring sports were brought to a halt due to the pandemic. With classes shifting online and public schools across Seminole County remaining closed, the sporting teams could not complete their usual season. They missed out on games and await further decisions regarding the remainder of the season from the county when more is known about the virus.

“[It is] devastating, to say the least,” senior and varsity tennis player Nicholas Brown said. “We have an extremely exceptional team and have the potential to accomplish more than we have in the past four years. As well as trying to remind the guys to think positive so hopefully this situation will swing in our favor. I think that the school is doing the best of their ability to handle this but honestly, no one really knows where this is going to go.”

On a national scale, the annual college basketball tournament, “March Madness,” was canceled, causing disappointment from basketball fans across the nation. The competition was scheduled to begin on March 17, however, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced the cancellation of all spring championships on March 12. 

“March Madness being canceled was for sure heartbreaking for so many avid basketball fans, including myself,” senior Nicolas Jativa said. “It’s something we look forward to all year and it’s sad to think we won’t be able to see our favorite senior athletes play one last time, but of course with everything that’s happened these past two months, it was for sure the smartest move to make. Our safety should come first and I’m glad we’re taking steps forward to ending this pandemic.”

The impact on sports from coronavirus extends to even worldwide sports competitions. The 2020 Olympics, set to be held in Tokyo, Japan, were postponed until 2021 by the International Olympic Committee on March 24. The Olympics have taken place every four years since 1896, only being canceled three times due to world wars, but this was the first time they have ever been postponed. 

“The Olympics being postponed is really upsetting, as I’ve been looking forward to them for the past four years, since the last summer games,” sophomore Lily Mclain said. “However, the safety and health of the athletes, coaches, and spectators is the most important thing, so at least they’re not being canceled completely.”