Sports are back at Hoover — with many new precautions in place.
What do some of these precautions and new rules look like thanks to Covid-19?
All activities/sports will take place between the hours of 3:30 pm and 8 pm. Daily temperature checks and symptom screenings must be recorded by the head coach, athletic director, as well as an assistant principal. These daily checks will need to be conducted for both coaches and athletes, and their body temperatures must be below 100 degrees in order to participate and be there.
Each program has its own amount of athletes that can be there at a time, with the pool having 12 athletes and the field having 50 athletes.
“It feels great to be back with my teammates,” said Hayk Yengibaryan, a junior on the boys’ water polo team. “We’re all excited to be back […] We’re very motivated […] we have been looking forward to getting back into the pool for months and now we’re looking to get into shape and prepare for the season.”
Every athlete and coach must remain six-feet apart for social distancing and have no physical contact. Masks are mandatory, and must be worn at all times except for times of heavy exertion, swimming, or drinking. During periods of heavy exertion social distancing must be eight-feet apart.
“It was great to be out on the field again,” said Hoover football coach Azad Herabidian. “Seeing the new class and the returning upperclassmen was exciting! We have long ways to go before we are back in ‘football’ shape, but I’m positive we will get there very soon.”
With all of the new precaution set in place there will also be no spectators allowed at all. The practice times are strictly only coaches, staff if permissible, and athletes. No one will have any access to the indoor facilities.
“At the moment, we are only conditioning outside and not touching any equipment,” said Thomas Roxas, a senior on the boys’ volleyball team. “But I’m excited to be back and working with my teammates while still following the Covid guidelines.”
Students are currently using minimal to no equipment. The procedures if they do use equipment are as follows. Throwing/kicking a ball with a partner is permissible as long as the pair is consistent. There can be no group activities involving equipment. If equipment is shared between a pair, it must be disinfected prior to another pair using the same item.
“It’s hard to capture in words the range of emotions that encapsulate our teams’ return to the pool,” said Kevin Witt, the Hoover boys’ water polo coach. “[..] I can’t imagine how difficult this has been on them (the athletes) with missing out on something they care so much about. Our team has always […] had a positive outlook towards the return to training […] I don’t think anything can get in the way of what past members of this program have built and what the current members maintain.”
Facilities and equipment are cleaned and disinfected by coaches prior to and after facilitating their activity. Hand sanitizer is available during all practices and is used frequently. As far as what type of mask should be used, the only rule is that masks with one-way valves are not permitted.
“It was a bit weird (social distancing during practice) because our team is a close group,” Yengibaryan said. “[…] we are able to swim and pass one another which is a step in the right direction. The social distancing and masks is not an ideal situation, but we know that we need to stay healthy as a team.”