Written by William Hekman
Just one week ago, San Diego Unified School District put a ban on all offseason sports from holding any practices. The district justified the ban by saying it was meant to stop the spread of the omicron variant in schools, as kids were returning from winter break. But the ban angered parents and coaches, who banded together and now, the ban has ended after only one week.
In a letter sent to Athletic Directors from the District, “The decision to re-open out of season workout routines has been approved as long as the following conditions are adhered to”. Some of the conditions that schools must adhere to include all activities must be outside, students should social distance when given the chance, and masks must be worn when doing indoor activities. Indoor offseason workouts or activities are also not allowed.
Parents and coaches protested the ban, saying that it had no justification and that the ban only hurt students rather than help them. Scripps Ranch Coach and California Coach of the Year Marlon Gardinera said in an interview with KUSI regarding the reversal, “I think they saw, hopefully, the error of that decision”. Along with being a parent and coach, Gardinera led the successful “Let Them Play” movement, which allowed students to continue athletics during the pandemic. Gardinera did say that some of the conditions that must be met are “challenges” but he was confident that coaches like himself will make the proper decisions for the safety and well being of their athletes and students, “I can respect their desire to protect our kids, but there’s a line, there’s a limit, and there’s common sense” said Gardinera.
Along with the reversal of the offseason sports ban, the district did change some rules for in-season sports, such as all indoor games will only allow 500 spectators and testing twice a week. While there are still a number of guidelines that athletic programs must follow, the district’s reversal is a step in the right direction for athletes and a return to normalcy.
Photo Cred: San Diego Unified