Shepherdstown, W.Va., – Travel and club sports around the country are returning for their 2021 seasons in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these are unsettling and confusing times for many, local volleyball clubs and organizations are doing their best to ensure that everyone is safe in reopening.
In the later weeks of March 2020, youth sports around the country were being shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. This canceled all tournaments for the rest of the 2020 season for a local club, the Panhandle Boomers Volleyball Club. Many of the teams in this club had made it to Nationals which were to take place in May.
Many clubs were trying to find fun ways to practice volleyball while they were stuck at home. Metro Volleyball Club of Washington DC decided to hop on the trend called Social Distancing Peppering.
“Peppering” is when two players face each other about 5 to 20 feet apart. One player passes the ball, then the other person would set the ball, and the original person who tossed the ball would spike the ball. The goal is to try and do this as many times as possible without letting the ball hit the floor.
In the video, the players had someone in their household toss the ball to them so that they could pass, set, and then spike the ball towards the camera. Then, the next person on their team would do the same thing. The video was then edited together to make it look like a continuous process.
While waiting for Governor Jim Justice to make the “OK to play” call, USA Volleyball (USAV) released a statement that contained the Return to Play Guidelines for all volleyball clubs across the country. This statement included guidelines for what should be done before, during, and after activities. All players, coaches, and spectators are required to wear a mask that is above their nose the entire time they are inside the venue.
Here are a few other things that local clubs are doing that are following the CDC, federal, state, and local guidelines.
Before participating, coaches and players should be symptom free for at least 14 days prior to an activity. They should also be staying home if they are sick or do not feel well. All players and coaches should practice social distancing. They also should not touch their face, eyes or mouth with unclean hands. Coaches should spray sanitizer on the volleyball net.
While participating during activities, players and coaches should wash or sanitize their hands often. It is helpful to encourage players to bring their own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Players should refrain from high fiving and huddling around their teammates. The players should also not be sharing drinks with one another (even if it’s your best friend or sibling). All volleyballs should also be sanitized throughout gameplay.
Everyone should immediately wash their hands after participating in games or practices. Players should also wash and sanitize all gear, uniforms, and apparel that were worn that day. Before finishing, coaches should spray all highly touched places (door handles, sinks, etc) and nets with sanitizer.
Many tournaments are only allowing 1 extra person besides 3 coaches and the players to attend tournaments so that eliminates a lot of extra people and germs that could be around the facility.