Pandemic restrictions are loosening around the region, but D.C. still isn’t allowing some high school athletes to play sports such as lacrosse, flag football, basketball and soccer. As a result, some parents and coaches are pushing back.
“We’re grateful that some spring sports are open, but we need all spring sports to be as open and as available for all kids,” said Stacy Stewart, the mother of a lacrosse player at Maret School, and the person behind the Twitter account @sportsmomDMV.
Stewart said students are prepared to play in masks if needed, and parents are willing to forego being spectators. She believes a common-sense approach to COVID-19 safety protocols can allow more kids to play, “to be able to stay on track with college recruiting and be able to stay on track with their mental health and their physical health and play the sport that they love.”
Lacrosse is highly competitive in the D.C. area, and kids are playing the sport in Virginia and Maryland.
“We just need to have some equity across the board,” she said. “Some kids in the District of Columbia don’t have the opportunity to travel to Virginia, don’t have the opportunity or the resources to travel outside the District of Columbia to play.”
Stewart believes student athletes missing two springs of competitive play may put potential college scholarships at risk.
A petition asking D.C.’s mayor to loosen restrictions on high school sports has more than 2,270 signatures.
Does the city expect to reconsider rules for high school sports, and if so when might that happen and under what circumstances? WTOP has posed that question to the mayor’s office and DC Health and is awaiting a response.
Sports like lacrosse, soccer, basketball and flag football aren’t allowed because they’re considered “moderate contact/moderate risk” sports, according to guidance from the D.C. State Athletic Association.
Mayor Muriel Bowser most recently addressed the status of school sports March 19, when a new mayoral order allowed for some low-contact sports to resume. Baseball, softball, track and field and tennis were among them.
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