Should Athletes Get a Say in If Sports Get Pushed Back?

By: KABIR SIHOTA

On July 20, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) agreed to push all fall sports back to the winter and winter sports to the spring. This decision came amidst the coronavirus pandemic. But there was one thing missing from this decision. Not a single student-athlete had a say or an opinion on if sports should be pushed back. Student-athletes should have had a say on if sports should have been delayed.

For years there have been different sports played in their respective seasons. Football is performed in the fall, basketball is played in winter, and baseball is played in springtime. But this year things will be much different. Pushing back sports without the say of athletes is wrong and unfair. The decision is coming from people who will not be playing at all. Athletes spend hours working hard and developing themselves for the season. To be told that their season will be delayed without them having any say is wrong. “Yes, it is our risk to take if we should play, not the decision people who are not playing high school sports should be making.” A quote from Jacob French, a multi-sport athlete at Benicia high school. Jacob is one of many athletes whose seasons will be delayed. As an athlete, playing a regular sports schedule is a risk; but a risk that athletes deserve to be choosing if they want to take it or not.

  Delaying sports not only makes athletes wait longer, it prohibits some athletes from playing multiple sports. The rule in high school is that you cannot play two sports in the same season. The new schedule forces athletes who play in the winter and spring seasons to choose between their respective sports. Jacob French, who is a basketball and baseball player, responded to being told he had to choose only 1 sport to play this year, saying it was “Not fair and frustrating because we work hard in both sports and spend time and money. It’s hard to be told that we will have to choose and that we will lose a season in sports.” Not only does delaying the season create frustration between players who have to choose, but it also substantially weakens a team that loses players to another sport; all reasons the athletes should be deciding to play a regular high school schedule.

Athletes work very hard day in and day out to get better at their sports. Not to ask athletes in California is disrespectful. The ones who are playing deserve to be making decisions like this. Delaying sports without the athletes is unfair; it takes away some players’ ability to play two sports as they usually do. A risk like this is a decision for the athletes to make and the athletes only.

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