On the day professional and college sports leagues across the country paused their seasons, my inbox receives a forwarded message from the athletics director at a neighboring school: After-school sports, including practices and games, will be suspended until at least April 6. This decision starts tomorrow, yet we have a game today. I'm an unpaid volunteer, and I'm pondering: What to do?
I email the coaches for the school we're supposed to play. "We're good," they say. "Let's get in one last game while we can." They add that my players and I, as the visiting team, are the ones who must pile into close car quarters to drive, so it's really up to us. I connect with the athletics director at my school for guidance. "Up to you and your kids," he says. He tells me there's a baseball game going ahead as originally scheduled. My players are sending texts hoping the game will go forward.
I dash off a follow-up email to coaches for the opposing team, announcing our intent to play. It takes a handful of seconds after I press send for a response to arrive, our various bytes like two ships passing in the digital night. The news involves our opponents' school district announcing its own set of cancellations, effective immediately. Our game is definitely -- and indefinitely -- off.