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Vaccines are NOT required to compete in High School Sports, and What This Means for PLHS Athletics

Updated: May 3, 2022

by Reese Sieger

Welcome to the Monthly Athletic Spotlight; February edition! This year, the Pointer Press Sports Section will be acknowledging something sports-related every month. This something can range from athlete and coaches/staff profiles, to events, to news. The February spotlight is the latter, specifically the announcement that vaccines will not be required to compete in high school sports, contrary to what was previously announced.

On January 3rd, 2022, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) sent out an announcement to high school athletic directors that they were possibly going to require COVID-19 vaccines for students who want to participate in high school sports. The memo said, “There will be critical information with changes to our district protocols that come out this week about ... mandatory vaccinations for all student athletes and students participating in extracurricular activities.” However, just four days later, on January 7th, they announced that they were temporarily halting the requirement.

Last month, SDUSD wanted to require vaccines for all students, but a judge denied that mandate because it conflicts with state law. So, they decided to try again but only make the vaccine required for athletes. However, this did not work out either. Some people found SDUSD’s requirement reasonable however, some people were upset that SDUSD even attempted to get the new vaccine requirement passed. One vocal group who opposed the new mandate was Let Them Choose, an organization that states it is for student rights.

“Let Them Choose was disappointed and surprised that San Diego Unified thought it could ignore the court’s order and issue yet another illegal vaccine mandate for its students,” said lead attorney Arie Spangler.

The logo for Let Them Choose.

On the opposite side, however, many people were disappointed with the fact that the mandate could not be enforced. A Point Loma High School student, who requested to remain anonymous, said, “I just wish people would get vaccinated, not just for sports but for everything. Sports-wise though, many games have had to be canceled or adjusted because of Corona outbreaks. And since some people are unvaccinated, the quarantine has had to be longer. Sports would be so much easier to organize if everyone was vaccinated and I think it would help bring the cases down too.”

So what does this result mean? As the student interviewed stated, unvaccinated athletes who get exposed to Covid must quarantine longer than those who are vaccinated. This can result in some star athletes having to miss multiple games. Also, since sports are so close-contact, if another outbreak were to happen throughout high schools and some athletes were unvaccinated, sports could be shut down entirely. There have already been multiple sport shutdowns throughout many colleges in the United States, especially in the University of California (UC) system.

What we do know is that you do not need a Covid-19 vaccine to play high school sports. In fact, you don’t need it to do anything high-school related, and you probably won’t need one anytime soon as the trend is for high school vaccine mandates to be shut down. The district tried, but they have failed so far. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out in high school sports at not only Point Loma, but all other high schools in the district.

The women's varsity soccer team.


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