With the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletics Association (NHIAA) giving the green light on winter sports, it is now up to each athletic division to meet and decide which winter sports can compete and discuss any restrictions that will be put in place.
Mike Atkins, athletic director at Keene High School, said the Division I ADs met on Monday and are planning to meet again on Friday to discuss logistics on a winter sports season.
“There are a lot of parameters,” Atkins said. “For example, not all of us have access to a pool or track, so the question is, how can we support those sports?”
Atkins said each sport will be looked at individually to decide whether or not competitions can safely take place.
“We have to look at it sport by sport,” Atkins said. “The bottom line is the safety of our students and our community.”
Once each division decides which sports can compete and what restrictions will be implemented, the matter will be presented to each school board for final approval.
Atkins mentioned that “remote competitions” could be an option for schools to compete without having to travel or be around athletes from other schools.
These remote competitions would consist of each school competing at their home location and comparing results with other schools. For example, a swim meet might consist of each school swimming at their home pools, and then comparing times with the other schools to determine the final results of the meet.
“Obviously that’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing,” Atkins said.
Atkins said there is still a lot discussion needed to be done before determining whether or not remote competitions will be put in place.
But, ultimately, Atkins wants to see his student athletes competing — safely — this winter.
“We all feel that athletics are important to our kids, not just academically, but it gives them a sense of normalcy,” Atkins said.