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ALBRIGHT: There’s one more hope to get winter sports back sooner than Feb. 14

The last few months for high school winter sports fans and athletes were excruciating.

But, the next month doesn’t have to be so bad.

One set of modifications appears able to bring back high school sports way before Feb. 14. One set of modifications can make things way easier on everyone. One set of modifications can put smiles on faces, get basketballs bouncing off rims, roll out wrestling mats, and get goggles ready for the water right now!

When we talk about seniors having to choose between spring and winter sports, these guides can eliminate that choice.

When it comes to giving all the kids, who have sacrificed so much, the full seasons they deserve, these guides can do just that.

That stress of everyone not being around each other can just melt away.

Not to mention, if we switch to these rules right now, we would never have to rely on any pesky map, again. Everything is covered pretty thoroughly for basketball, wrestling and swimming.

So why aren’t we abiding by them at this moment?

Seriously?

Using one set of cure-alls to eliminate worry, fear, pain and anguish really sounds like a slam dunk idea for everyone involved.

Just take one look at the rules.

Are you telling me anyone has a problem with any of them?

Does anyone truly have beef with wrestlers changing singlets in between matches, well besides whoever ends up doing the laundry?

Are there any basketball purists who are going to get all up in arms about the elimination of the jump ball for safety’s sake?

Is anyone whining about showing up to swim meets already dressed to go? That certainly sounds like it would cut some time off the length of meets.

Truthfully, there aren’t really that many tough asks at all.

Did everyone forget that the WVSSAC’s modifications for fall sports worked out pretty well?

Because they really did. Not many outbreaks in the fall originated from athletes being in close proximity to each other. Maybe there were one or two, but no one covered anything up.

And for those who think the athletes have a problem following these rules, they don’t. Every one of them I have talked to is willing to do whatever it takes – and that is a wonderful sign.

So, what are we waiting for?

Well, a couple of things for sure.

First off, no one can just expect to have everything return to normal right away. Grandparents and extended family probably still aren’t going to be allowed at games. No matter what everyone else around us is doing. There has to be some give and take. And by minimizing the amount of people in an enclosed space, it is going to sound more appealing to the people who in the end will make this decision.

Secondly, in order for this to work, everyone (coaches, parents, kids, refs, school administrations) needs to be on board. There can’t be any complaining about the modifications in the beginning. Then the WVSSAC does away with them, and then teams want them back when the state tournament rolls around. These aren’t just for convenience. These aren’t for decoration. After all, this isn’t a choose your own adventure book. These are for athletes banging into each other, picking each other up, and cutting through the water.

These are the right precautions in the right sports for the right time.

Now all we need to do is let them have their day.

And then we can all return to some sense of normalcy sooner.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.

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