The middle of February normally means high school basketball season is close to wrapping things up.

But it’s 2021, and the state of Vermont has been ultra-cautious.  The teams have been allowed to practice for about a month, but no games could be played… until today. 

The rules for the sport have not changed.  Everything else is different, however.

First, instead of playing schools of like size and ability to fill out squads, the state is now split into “north” and “south”.   There are a few sporting matches here that require three and a half hours of travel—one way, just to play and then turn around to drive that same distance back home.  That won’t be happening this year, which I’m thinking some parents (and perhaps players and coaches as well?) might end up calling a silver lining.  It is brutal on the student athletes who crawl into bed at 1 or 2 AM. 

Next, there are no spectators, no parents, no cheers (and jeers) from the stands.  This also means no need for administrators to monitor students (and parents) who occasionally may get a little too enthusiastic or colorful with their responses.  Call me a Polyanna if you’d like, but I’m thinking the players themselves don’t always enjoy watching their parents get all worked up.  Those vice principals who have had to escort students from the crowd probably think this is a silver lining for them, too. 

Last, there are people like me.  I have no kids who play this sport (and yes, I did encourage and cajole all three of my own, but they held steadfast).  I still enjoy the atmosphere and the theater of a good game on the court.  I like chitchatting with the other parents and cheering.  I have been missing this social opportunity since November.  Tonight, I remembered that all games are now live streamed. 

This leads to the final silver lining for today’s entry: our at-home seating is far more comfortable than the high school bleachers!