Beating a dead horse again with COVID maps and the WVSSAC


BUCKHANNON – Let us see…what to talk about this week?

How about how that stupid COVID-19 pandemic map hits home and how the WVSSAC is a complete embarrassment at this point?

We will start with the arbitrary and beyond pointless map that came out this past Saturday.

I know, let’s beat that dead horse again. This is the same but different. I promise!

Upshur County was orange again for the fourth week out of the last five.

While this has been an issue for the high school, golf team, cross country teams, and the soccer teams, things worked themselves out so those teams could compete at the sectional, regional and state level.

The B-U volleyball team though, not quite as fortunate.

Ashley Stanton’s Lady Bucs put together a nice season at 16-5 but didn’t have the opportunity to play in sectionals at University yesterday because of Upshur County’s status as orange.

So once again, student-athletes, who have practiced and done all the right things since August, are denied the right to participate in their play-offs.

I know this a broken record to some, but again, when an arbitrary map and arbitrary numbers take away something from student-athletes, especially as something they work for all year, I will say once again it’s time to dump the map.

If seven people get tested and are positive…then seven out of seven people have it. That’s 100 percent, right?

So, if 93 healthy people go get tested and they are all negative, that puts the percentage at seven percent. But you still have the same number of positive cases at seven.

So, what is the point of a map based on percentages? Do you see how easily those percentages can be manipulated?

The map says that a 7.9 positivity percent makes you orange, but 7.8 percent keeps you gold. Again, based on what exactly? 7.8 good, 7.9 bad. Okay.

And who gets to decide that 7.8 is good but 7.9 is bad? Dr. Clay Marsh? Governor Justice? The Easter Bunny?

It wasn’t just the B-U volleyball team that got the short end of the stick this week. Both of Martinsburg’s soccer teams were denied a chance to play in their regional finals, as they had to forfeit both the boys’ and girls’ games to Jefferson.

Emily Beck, a senior girls soccer player, is seeking a temporary restraining order against the WVSSAC hoping to prohibit the state soccer tournament from happening until after access to free COVID-19 testing has been made to the residents of Berkeley County.

The hearing was scheduled for yesterday.

And just another thought, but has anyone noticed that the state has had zero major outbreaks of teams contaminating other teams? But yet, they are the ones that get punished.

And before anyone misreads this, I am not downplaying the dangers that COVID-19 brings, I have lost an aunt and a friend to the virus, but this arbitrary and manipulated map and its numbers need to be thrown in the trash.

If you read my column last week it broke down the number of teams that could be affected by the minimum number of games played to be active for the football play-offs.

It wound up that only Tug Valley was affected by not reaching that number as they only played three games and weren’t going to be playing Friday or Saturday.

Tug Valley is 3-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A.

Oh, but hold on, here came the WVSSAC on Tuesday riding their bouncing horses, their cap guns firing and wearing their five-times too small cowboy hats to save the day. Or simply make a complete mess of things again.

Just over two weeks ago, the WVSSAC came out and said that four games were the minimum.

Then on Tuesday, as first reported by a tweet by WVMetro News, they simply changed it to three games…just five days before the play-off pairings were to be set. No reason was given that I saw prior to our press time on Wednesday.

And again, this isn’t an anti-Tug Valley rant, I am happy for their kids, but what do you tell the team that finishes 17th, that the WVSSAC randomly changed the rules and now you’re out of the playoffs?

So to wrap this back around to Buckhannon-Upshur volleyball, and let me bold this and cap it just so my point gets made…THEY CAN MAKE THIS DECISION AT THE DROP OF A HAT BUT CONCESSIONS CAN’T BE MADE TO LET B-U VOLLEYBALL OR MARTINSBURG SOCCER TO PLAY?

Is there any wonder why no one takes what the WVSSAC says seriously?

And to top if off, they put in the announcement that schools with three games would only be eligible for the playoffs if “they made efforts to schedule games.”

LOL. Now again this only effects Tug Valley, but how in Hades could they even investigate something like that?

I can see the WVSSAC right now…”So a parent called the school  at 2:30 a.m. looking for a game…and they didn’t respond…that’s good enough for us.”

This utter nonsense between the map and WVSSAC makes me just want to beat my head on a wall.

And selfishly for me, if they botched up the fall sports this bad, I can only imagine how basketball, swimming and wrestling are going to be handled this winter.

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