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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

High School Winter Sports On, Fall Sports Still Going

Catherine Wheeler

High school wrestling and basketball have gotten approval to start on time this year.

The Wyoming Department of Health has approved plans for athletes to start practice November 23.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) says it will be using similar precautions used during fall sports, like keeping players in pods during practices and health screenings.

WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird said so far the fall sports season has been going well. But a few football games have been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. Additionally, some athletes, including an entire volleyball team, have had to quarantine after being exposed.

Laird said that's how it should be working if we want to ensure activities can still happen.

"So that part's created a little frustration especially [with] the parents and participants which is understandable, but it's also the safeguards put in place from the state health department," he said.

Now, as sports will soon start heading to culminating events, Laird said it's getting more challenging for schools to handle crowds and spectators who are not following health precautions.

"So that concerns me," he said. "If we're going to start being selfish from an adult standpoint, it could really affect our kids. So we really have to stay diligent with what we're doing. We have to remember the purpose of this is for the kids. If we can keep that going, then I think the chances of getting through all the seasons are going to be good."

The structure of playoffs and state tournaments for volleyball and football has changed in order to keep crowds minimized. It includes the highest seeds and winners hosting games instead of bringing teams to one location.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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