Tennis: A Social-Distanced Sport

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Sydney Wolfe

While the tennis courts on campus appear to vacant, players will bounce back into action as tryouts take place at the end of the month and as team practices safely begin again.

Sydney Wolfe, Staff Writer

Though the return to school is halting, sports are still set to happen, starting in the winter.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding school and sports during this time is contact and distance between students. By interacting with others in close proximity, the risk of contracting the virus is definitely increased. With school reopening everyone has adapted to carrying out their daily activities while social distancing; however, in sports, in which competition is enhanced through the contact between players, it is a little challenging.

During Phase 1 of the start and continuation of school sports, the district informed everyone of the requirements to be followed in order to play, such as preceding temperature checks and wearing masks. Among these precautions, coaches also shall converse with their athletes to make sure they are symptomless and are not experiencing any potential signs of the virus.

While school opened up at the beginning of October, Phase 2 began and has instructed the same requirements as Phase 1, with the adjustments of allowing indoor training to occur, group sizes to cautiously increase, and equipment to be available for use among a larger crowd.

Many sports, including football and soccer, revolve around the idea of contact, which is worrying as many want to continue playing their sport, however, the normal basis of the game goes against advised social distancing. Tennis is a sport that constantly requires the players to be on opposite sides of the net, enforcing a consistent and evident region of distance. Thus, the regulation of six-feet social distancing is mandated and taken care of.

“​It’s very easy to social distance at practice with only 4 players on the court at a time,” said Coach DiLeo, coach of the boy’s and girl’s teams. 

Tennis is great to play anytime. It’s a great workout and basically has no contact so it’s easier to stay safer compared to other sports.”

— Dileo

During the COVID-19 spike in the spring, many public courts and local clubs, such as the Coto Valley Racquet Club, required their guests to wear gloves on their non-dominant hand, or the hand not holding the racket. While this is still common in some areas, provisions have been made to ensure full safety while staying comfortable. For example, coaches are holding practices where each player has a designated can of balls that only they are allowed to use. There is evidently zero contact between the players and all advisements are being followed.

“Tennis is great to play anytime. It’s a great workout and basically has no contact so it’s easier to stay safer compared to other sports. And if you are really wanting to make the team, you need to have a lot of match play experience. Lessons and camps are great but playing in a match is totally different. Both the boys and girls teams are very good and very tough to make so get out there and practice as much as you can,” said DiLeo.

Tryouts for the boys’ tennis team will take place on November 30th and December 1st and girls’ tryouts will follow on December 2nd and 3rd. The first games of the season are planned to take place at the end of February. Times for tryouts are to be posted, so make sure to stay tuned with the SJHHS Athletics website for announcements and other details.