On My Soapbox: Sports in the bubble

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

Professional sports leagues are set to restart soon, and we are still not sure how or if the NFL will play out this year. The question on everyone’s mind is, what about high school sports?

We don’t know if we will get any high school sports this year because of the pandemic. But what if there was a high school sports bubble?

Similar to what professional sports leagues are doing. Bring in the players and keep them together, yet separate. Hear me out before you just say no.

The first change would be spreading out the schedule. Games would be two weeks apart and played at a neutral bubble site (so for Thrall vs. Thorndale, they would probably play at the Duck Pond in Taylor). The day after each game, players would be allowed to go home for a few days. When they return to the bubble, they would be tested. If they test negative, they stay. If they test positive, they are quarantined for 14 days with the hopes of playing the next game.

All of the players would report to a site for their team. At the bubble, there will be an area for practice and conditioning, and space adopted for virtual learning and study time. Students would still need to make the grade to play.

The bubble would be close to home, so they can stay in contact with family, friends and teachers. This would give teams time to get more familiar with each other, which in-turn would help them player better on the field.

It would also give players a chance to work together on academics and help create bonds between players off the field.

For volleyball, a similar situation could be arranged, but with a gym rather than a football facility.

In fact, it could be more of a tournament style bubble with volleyball. Instead of two teams, you could have six teams and play three to five non-district games within a week. Two weeks later, repeat the process.

For district play, bring in all of the teams, after a three-week grace period to account for practice, resting and testing. Play every team twice in a two-week period and you get your district standings. Playoffs could be done the same way by region.

Only coaches, trainers and the media are allowed in the bubble aside from the players, so all of the games would be live streamed.

This would provide a way to have school, have sports and give it to the fans. It’s also a way to give the players a college like atmosphere and prepare them for their future.

This is just an idea, but I hope the UIL doesn’t bust our bubble and say no sports.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go cry some more about not having the tournament this year. Then I’ll come up with another idea for next year.

“I think my worst problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that's going on. I feel like I'm in my own bubble.”

- Kendrick Lamar

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