Covid and Winter Sports: How Has it Changed?


Photo Courtesy of Shore Sports Network

Knowing the importance of sports for students, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy decided to lift the indoor sports ban on indoor high school sporting events.

Jack Houston, Sports Editor

Winter sporting seemed like a lost cause for many student athletes after Governor Murphy’s December 5th executive order to suspend indoor activities. With hope dangling from a line and despair on their mind, seniors and other eager sports competitors worriedly waited for some news to drop. Hearing the children’s calls, instead of continuing the ban, Governor Murphy decided to lift it. Even in a modified and precautious environment, student athletes are now joyous knowing that their chances to play and have their parents watch are safe.

However, what does this exactly mean for Ramapo’s sports teams? What certain precautions have been put in place to protect the players and the viewers? Let’s take a dive into some of Ramapo’s teams:



Like all the other Ramapo sports teams, the Ramapo basketball teams have been experiencing a season like no other. Because of the early ban on indoor activities, the girl’s basketball team is forced to play a month and a half late and a maximum of only 15 games which is around half the amount of games played last season. Not only that, but the team has lost the opportunity to compete for the county and state playoffs or even for the state championship this year.

To keep players safe, precautions have been implemented in which players must sign a Covid form and have their temperatures taken. They also must social distance and wear a mask whenever they are off the court. And because of Governor Murphy’s ruling to allow a sort-of crowd, two attendees are allowed per player. Even though this year’s season has been different and shorter than any other season in Ramapo history, the players are still appreciative.

“For the most part, we have all bought into the precautions and limits that we have to follow to minimize the risk of getting shut down,” says basketball player Julia Corella. “I can speak for the entire team in saying that we are extremely grateful for every day that we are allowed to practice and play because any day we could get the call that our season is over.” 



Similar to other sports, the Ramapo ice hockey team had their season delayed for about a month and a half. However, even with this delay, the beginning of the season went smoothly for the hockey team with tryouts, beginning-season practices, and only one mandatory quarantine going underway. However, the team was faced with another challenge at the halfway point of the year. The skaters faced a team with a player positive with Covid and were thus quarantined again for the second time this year. However, even with things looking bleak with the two quarantines, the season continued smoothly with the two spectators per rule implemented to the guidelines. To further keep the players safe, other regulations were added in which the skaters had to dress before reaching the rink, bring minimal belongings, and have no locker rooms.

“Other than those two quarantines the season went smoothly,” says Ramapo ice hockey player Nikitas Constantinides. “Overall the season was great and the whole team was glad to play.”



Unlike other teams for Ramapo, wrestlers and wrestling coaches have to experience an expected, but not favorable, outcome of restrictions. Because of the sport’s extreme close-contact nature, authorities want to do whatever it takes to keep the athletes safe. As such, instead of having the usual winter sport take place in winter, it has been unfortunately postponed until spring which ultimately lowers the season from three months to two months and from 30+ matches to not even 20. While wrestlers appreciate the action to protect their safety, some are rightfully disappointed.

“Because of the move to spring, our league will attempt a strange change to have matches outside instead of indoors,” says wrestler Stefano Bruni. “Even so, most of my and other wrestlers’ family members will not be able to go to the matches because fans will be limited and most will need to watch live from a website.”



Swimming meets and practices have, like other sports, been greatly altered because of certain restrictions to ensure safety. One of the most drastic changes includes that of a 5 am practice time instead of a usual afternoon practice, which, as described as by swimmer Jonathan Huang, “does not yield the most pleasurable experience.” Some guidelines also pose an annoyance to swimmers including the rule to put on a mask immediately after leaving the pool. However, like all of the other athletes, the swimmers are very appreciative for their chance to compete.

“We are still grateful that we have a season at all as the decision to allow the sport to continue this year was essentially almost a last minute decision,” says Jonathan Huang. “For me and my teammates, although the restrictions are sometimes troublesome, we are undoubtedly grateful that we can finally win some competitions this year.”


As an era of unprecedented events, it only makes sense that our sporting events are unprecedented as well. While the restrictions sure do pose a challenge to athletes, it’s also important to keep in mind that these can eventually help us return to normalcy.