On Sports: Playing Baseball with Restrictions Is Way Better than Nothing

by Evan Joseph ’23

Last Spring after the pandemic hit, I got devastating news that my travel baseball season had been cancelled before it even started. I had been training harder than ever all winter for the upcoming spring season following an injury that limited my last Fall travel season. I spent months without baseball, stuck at home like the rest of the world.  I was excited but confused in June to hear that I would be able to play with my team over the summer (with restrictions regarding the pandemic). It was still very hard over the summer to find open fields because of Covid restrictions in Montgomery County, but my coaches and teammates  were willing to do whatever it took to find them and play while still staying safe. We are still playing now, and things have gotten better, but we still face many challenges.

Even though the restrictions limited our ability to interact with one another and play the game we love, it is refreshing to get out and see some familiar faces and pass some time in a productive way. Being able to finally get out of the house and do something I enjoy improves both my physical and mental health. I think we can all agree that quarantine has heavily impacted our mental health for the worse by not being able to see friends or participate in pastimes that involve others. Even though some teammates decided not to come back due to Covid fears, it has been a huge boost to my own well-being to get out and play.

I am playing ball and having fun, but the danger currently affecting the world around us is always looming.  In order to stay safe while having fun, many precautions were put in place. These precautions change based on the county in which we are playing and include restrictions on spectators, rules for social distancing from our teammates, and rules for mask-wearing when we can not be socially distanced. Although they do vary based on where we play a few of these rules have remained constant since June. All spectators must have masks on at all times, players must be masked when not on the field, all attendees (players, coaches and spectators) try to remain socially distant at all times, and we are not allowed to use our dugouts. Although having fun is nice, our ultimate priority during these hard times is ours and the others around us safety, and I feel like the changes made got the best of both worlds and greatly improved my summer and now my fall.  I am hopeful that as time goes by, we will be able to get back to baseball as usual. But for now, we will all take what we can get.