COVID-19 Effects North Girls Volleyball

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Sara Hendry, Staff Writer

On Oct. 5, Sam Page, County Executive of St. Louis County, announced a new set of guidelines for high school sports. Moderate frequency contact sports, like volleyball, are now allowed to have competitions, but there are restrictions.

“The coronavirus has made it harder to plan anything because of the uncertainty of what the region or the state will say is allowed or not,” said girls volleyball head coach Roman Balaban. “We knew that this season would not be normal in any way. Getting training time has been a major struggle for all programs because of the time restraints by the social distancing.”

Girls volleyball has been able to have practices. However, due to the guidelines, practices are different. Practice start times must be spaced out to limit the number of athletes at school and in the gym. Locker rooms are not supposed to be used. The number of players sitting on the bench or in a confined area is limited as well to allow social distancing while players are not in play.

The volleyball team started playing games on Sept. 30 and has a record of 3-0 so far this season. Since volleyball is an indoor sport, spectators are not allowed to watch so long as the game takes place in St. Louis County. This has changed the feel of the feel of the game.

“For various reasons, not having spectators allows players to focus on the game more than the showmanship. It also allows players to focus on the team more,” said Balaban.

“It’s different and I wish my parents were there to watch me play, but we have been trying our best to let the parents and family members watch our games by live streaming,” said senior Nia Deberry, varsity girls volleyball player.

The varsity team has set up a live stream on Instagram and other social media platforms, so they can keep spectators involved.

COVID has not only affected the games and fans but the team as well.

“Parents are being more cautious of their kids being around kids but team sports have seen a dynamic culture change. It is getting harder to find athletic people that want to learn a new sport for the sake of learning something new,” said Balaban.

Understandably, parents have been more cautious since the pandemic but it has made a noticeable difference in team sports. Girls volleyball only has two teams this year as there weren’t enough girls to create a freshman team.

The pandemic has changed high school sports and student-athletes. Coaches, spectators and players are adapting and making the best of what they have despite all of the restrictions and guidelines.

Saint Louis County Sports Guidelines: https://stlcorona.com/dr-pages-messages/covid-19-safe-operating-protocols/youth-sports-guidelines/