Youth Basketball Required Masks and Extra Policies for Spectators

Group of female youth basketball players wearing face masks in gym
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Group of female youth basketball players wearing face masks in a gym

In the winter of 2020, my oldest daughter was in 5th grade basketball. Covid restrictions had quite an impact on the basketball season. When we dropped the girls off for evening practice, parents were not allowed into the school. All the girls were required to wear face masks from the entrance to the gym, and there was a hall monitor to make sure they obeyed. 

Once in the gym, all the girls and the two coaches were required to wear a mask during the entire practice. School district officials warned that they would be monitoring the practices and ensuring the rules were followed. 

On weekends, the girls had tournaments. Here is the tableau of these tournaments: the team would meet in the parking lot. They would have their game time and wouldn’t be allowed in the host school prior to their game time. When it was time to play, the girls would enter as a group, follow the arrows to their assigned court, and would be masked up the whole time. Only one parent was allowed to spectate. No grandparents, siblings, or any other people were allowed to watch, and those allowed in had to wear masks. The referees wore masks, with their whistles hidden underneath. As soon as the game was over, the girls were whisked away, out a deactivated emergency exit backdoor that dumped into the parking lot. 

If your team happened to play on the same court in back-to-back games, here was the funniest detail. A janitor came over to the bleachers. He asked everyone sitting on the portable metal bleachers to stand up. Then he came along and wiped down the bleacher with Lysol, so each of the parents could sit right back down in their same seats. The janitor just gave a shrug as if to say, “I know this is maybe the stupidest thing in the world, but I’m just going along with it.”

Across the country, there were plenty of instances of youths fainting, passing out, and collapsing while playing similar tournament. These girls were busting their butts up and down the court, fighting for loose balls, and gasping like crazy because they had something restricting their breathing the whole time. It’s a wonder there weren’t more issues.

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Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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