How the women’s basketball team feels about GHSA COVID-19 modifications

+One+of+the+precautions+that+have+been+put+in+place+is+the+mandatory+wearing+of+a+mask+while+not+in+the+game%2C+which+has+received+negative+reactions+from+players+because+it+makes+it+harder+for+them+to+catch+their+breathe+and+it+is+not+very+practical.%0Aphoto+by+Katie+Northenor

One of the precautions that have been put in place is the mandatory wearing of a mask while not in the game, which has received negative reactions from players because it makes it harder for them to catch their breathe and it is not very practical. photo by Katie Northenor

Katherine Northenor, Staff Writer

COVID-19 has affected many sports throughout this last year. Regulations have been put in place to allow for sports to continue, while still providing resistance against the spread of the coronavirus. GHSA has recently released modifications to high school basketball in Georgia in regards to how the game should be conducted to provide more safety, and precautions that should be taken when players are not in the game. 

Along with the game being altered, players are also personally being affected by these new changes. One of the major impacts the athletes are having to face is wearing a mask while on the bench, which makes it more difficult for players to catch their breath when coming out of the game after sprinting on the court. 

Freshman and varsity player, Leilani Lee, expresses her feelings about having to wear a mask while on the bench when stating, “I feel like it had good intentions when it was put in place, but it is not very effective since we will still be in contact with players while in the game. Additionally, it just makes it harder for the players to breathe when out of the game.” Lee believes that it has created more negatives than benefits since the modification was introduced.

Another change includes the jump ball being eliminated, with the visiting team beginning with the ball and alternating possessions from then on. Senior, Tricia Backus, speaks about her thoughts on the changing of the jump ball rule when she states, “I don’t like the new rule for the jump ball because I feel like it doesn’t make that much of a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19 since everyone will already have the same amount of exposure throughout the game.” 

Backus is describing how the modification to the jump ball may not be as practical as projected to be because players will be in contact while playing, so the change to jump ball doesn’t thoroughly stop the spread of the coronavirus. While the removal of the jump ball in the game was to avoid unnecessary contact between players, it is very hard to manage the spread of the disease throughout the rest of the game. This leads to the actual effectiveness of this revision as questionable.

Overtime possessions have also been modified in the new GHSA rules to work around the withdrawal of the jump ball. Usually, the teams would begin the overtime period by gathering on the court and one player from each team would go for a jump ball, which would then determine the possession. With the extraction of the jump ball in new COVID-19 restrictions, this is not possible. The new GHSA rules state, “To start an overtime period, use a coin toss to determine which team is awarded the ball.”

Kendall Krantz, freshman on Roswell High School’s varsity basketball team speaks about her feelings on the overtime revision when she states, “I dislike it because the team who wins the coin flip receives an advantage, and I feel that a jump ball would be a better way to ensure that both teams are equal at the start.” Krantz is explaining how players do not prefer the new adjustment to the overtime standard because it is solely based on luck, and would rather stick to the traditional jump ball. 

For information about how NCAA Basketball plans to handle Covid-19 before the season begins check out Noah Goulbourne’s article by clicking here. (place link package on “here”)