If only everything was perfect, flawless and trouble-free as possible.
It would be great if life was “one size fits all,” but most would settle for perfection being everything “I” want.
In that perfect world, perfection would be readily available. No fuss … no muss … just Easy Street.
We all know that’s not possible. There are always challenges along the way.
Call them the pop quizzes and major exams of any lifetime. They’re tests proving perfection is hard to find.
This one isn’t life or death, but Washington County’s upcoming spring sports seasons is one of those “making chicken salad” instances.
There’s been a ripple of grumbling after the county’s public school system announced the plan devised to get student-athletes in six different sports on the fields and competing.
Discontent ranged from the schedule, to protocols, to restrictions and directives on what is required for spectators.
It isn’t perfect, but these kids will be able to play.
Remember a year ago at this time?
Everyone held out hope that the onset of the pandemic was just a temporary pause. Nothing could be that bad — enough to stop all things we’re used to enjoying.
And then, high school sports — followed by so many creature comforts and amenities we take for granted — were cancelled or put on an indefinite hold.
Right then and there, the reality of “nothing is perfect” should have set in.
It was an unwanted lesson in compromise.
Now, there will be high school games to enjoy. Perfection is optional.
There’s still a level of blame and finger-pointing, though. There has to be some official out there being really heavy handed just to have power and control over perfection-seekers everywhere.
It’s just another inconvenience to endure in a year of pop quizzes and major exams.
In reality, the spring sports plan is a matter of controlling what can be controlled.
It may not look like it, but it is a well thought out assault on a no-win situation. It has been changed and altered — sometimes daily — to even get to this point.
The schedule, like in the fall and winter seasons, will feature all in-county games among the seven WCPS schools. Not every school offers every sport — because of limited enrollment and participation — so adjustments were required to pull it off.
Each school will play the county opponents numerous times in most sports just to create a schedule. Baseball, softball and tennis teams will meet three times each, while lacrosse teams will play each other four (for girls) or six (for boys) times this season.
Track will primarily be at least five dual-meet events for each school.
In this case, familiarity must breed content. Why?
For starters, every county in the state is keeping its public schools in the confines of its borders. Yes, private schools are traveling to other locales, but each is its own entity.
That provision alone hampers any scheduling variety.
In addition, Washington County is using a different competition model than neighboring counties — Frederick, Allegany and Garrett.
They are cramming winter, fall and spring activities into the last three months of the school year and are in the midst of football and soccer seasons, which Washington County played briefly in the fall.
Spring sports won’t commence for those counties until late April. There have been postponements and cancellations along the way, too.
Then, to get the season off the ground, health protocols have to remain in place.
These events may be outdoors, but face coverings and distancing rules still apply.
Dugouts and bench areas are taking up more area with folding chairs to keep players properly spaced. At most facilities, all the different fields and tracks are in close proximity, so spacing is needed to accommodate all teams safely.
Again, spring games are played outdoors, which helps lower virus risks, but it isn’t foolproof.
And all this will again limit the room for and number of spectators (family) who can watch, and will place them in a less-than-favorable seating chart.
That doesn’t seem right or fair, but there is one thing to consider.
During this pandemic era — in professional, collegiate or scholastic sports — it seems that players aren’t being exposed to the virus when playing.
From a distance, it seems in some local cases the infection has occurred when a non-team member just casually stands and watches a game or practice, oftentimes not knowing they are positive for the virus.
It happens in the few minutes when protocols are relaxed. This falls into the “ounce of prevention” category.
Look, everyone wants to get back to normal and spring — the season of renewal — is a great time and a greater symbol to make it all happen.
But is there a possibility of moving too quickly?
Normalcy might have to return in moderation. More citizens — and fans — are getting vaccinated and it still might take time for everything to take hold.
But here it is. It seems like local school officials did everything in their power to try and help spring athletes have as long and as full of a season as possible. It’s a small way to make up for last year, hoping they don’t become two-time losers because of the virus.
The school officials tried to create a plan that fell within health, safety and governmental guidelines.
And that’s not a perfect world … but we should be used to that by now.
All the pop quizzes and major exams should have taught us to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Perfection is impossible, and the situation still has room for improvement.
And sometimes the closest thing to perfect is making the best of what you have.