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Winter sports season begins in Arizona; safety measures put in place for athletes, coaches and fans

Winter sports in Arizona
Posted at 10:26 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 00:37:46-05

Some of the very first winter sports games were played Tuesday. It's an exciting time for many, but there are some strict changes.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association is now requiring masks during games.

"My son is out there playing right now on the field for Hamilton,"said parent, Jody Dentz.

Dentz attended the Hamilton vs. San Luis boys’ soccer game at Chandler High School.

Only parents are allowed to be in the stands during the games and they must inform the school district of their attendance beforehand.

"Football season was last year and obviously, there was way more people compared to here now. I think we have taken these precautionary measures. There's less people, there's only parents here attending the games. I think we're taking it very serious," said Dentz.

The AIA initially canceled the winter sports season, then reversed the decision a week later with safety measures put in place.

Athletes, coaches and parents must fill out a COVID-19 symptom monitoring form upon entering a venue.

Players are asked to remain masked and socially distant on the field and sidelines.

The AIA also says no handshakes or fist bumps are allowed before or after games.

Victoria Clark, a varsity soccer player for San Luis High School, was in the stands after playing earlier in the day.

"It's very difficult playing with mask, breathing and all that. Every now and then, it's fine. It's better than not having a season, that's for sure," said Clark.

Everyone can agree health and safety come first as Arizona continues to be a COVID-19 hot spot

"It was a tough decision for the board and there's pros and cons, but the girls and the boys deserve it," said San Luis High School girl's varsity soccer Coach Fernando Ramirez.