Winter sports to start despite pandemic


Harrison Army, Staff

On Oct. 19, The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association approved the 2020-2021 winter sports season for all high school athletes.  

The season is expected to begin on Jan. 11 despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases across the state. 

Pembroke Academy began winter sports’ practices for the upcoming season on Monday, Dec. 14.

According to Athletic Director Mr. Vezina, PA will have all of its usual winter sports teams with the exception of  indoor track and swimming, due to the lack of venues to host these sports. 

All winter sports have their own specific guidelines and protocols to  prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, said Mr. Vezina.

According to Mr. Vezina, there will be no locker rooms, no water jugs, and strict requirements for washing the balls for basketball. There will also be limited attendance at games and mask requirements depending on the sport.    

“An outdoor sport, like ski-team, isn’t the same as indoor sports like basketball. Ski-team wouldn’t necessarily always require masks like basketball does because it’s outside,” said Mr. Vezina. “As for hockey, it’s at the mercy of the arenas.”

Students will also need to fill out their Convenient MD online assessment at the start of each day or they will not be able to participate in games or practices on that specific day. 

Transportation will be the same as the fall sports. Buses will be available for students while it is encouraged that they drive themselves to their designated game. 

Mr. Vezina believes that it is worth the effort to continue to have sports during the current pandemic. 

“It is definitely worth it to have sports,” he said. “From what I saw athletes go through during the spring, and the seniors who lost their final seasons, I don’t want to see that happen again. Sports is not only a form of therapy but doing it this way will also make students practice good habits of staying clean and safe.”

Students of PA agree with Mr. Vezina. 

“Students need to be out doing some sort of socializing, especially since we are remote,” said senior Alex Chiavaras. “I would rather do protocols and have a season then not.”

Junior Abby Smart, however, views the situation differently.

“As someone who plays sports, I think it varies depending on the sport. Something like ski-team can easily be made safe with COVID-19, but with hockey it’s iffy,” she said. “It’s a hard situation, and I think PA has done a good job making sure everything is safe. Sports are good for an athlete’s mental health and overall well-being.” 

The season is expected to run until March, 2021.