Basketball courts

DODEA-Europe’s eyes return to the basketball courts and wrestling mats

AFNORTH Lions celebrate after winning the title of the DODEA-Europe Division III volleyball tournament on Saturday October 30, 2021 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Volleyball was the only fall sport played indoors, but basketball, wrestling and marksmanship are all on the program for the winter season. (Kent Harris / Stars and Stripes)

A successful fall season of DODEA-Europe athletics is on the books. But as COVID-19 remains a major problem across the continent, the organization is approaching the upcoming winter season with the same level of cautious optimism that it has deployed since the pandemic first affected its operations ago. about 20 months.

“The safety of our student-athletes and coaches is at the forefront of the decision-making process,” said DODEA-Europe Athletic Director Kathy Clemmons.

This challenge becomes more difficult in winter. Most fall and spring sports are played outdoors, where transmission of the virus is less common. But all winter sports – basketball, wrestling, and marksmanship – are played indoors, often with participants in close physical proximity.

However, the strategy of DODEA-Europe remains intact.

“Track mitigation and communicate,” Clemmons said. “Adjustments will be made as the season progresses to provide as much participation as possible. “

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, DODEA-Europe’s activities will be strongly influenced by the rules of the host countries in which it organizes training and matches. Many of these countries have implemented or are considering renewing restrictions on public gatherings.

This has been the reality of DODEA-Europe for some time now, but Clemmons intends to keep the organization as vigilant as ever.

“It is imperative that we know the host country and facility requirements on a weekly basis. These requirements can change quickly,” said Clemmons. “Our priority is to stay abreast of these changes to avoid communication issues regarding our sporting events and to continue to organize safe competitions for our students / athletes.”

DODEA-Europe has already focused on multi-school gatherings, both in the regular season and in the playoffs, as a way to improve competition. This is not the case under the current circumstances.

“The schedules have been prepared to prevent as much overnight travel as possible and to limit the number of teams and athletes in schools for events,” Clemmons said.

The European Basketball Championship tournaments held in February 2020 represented the last event of the pre-pandemic era at DODEA-Europe.

If all goes well, the winter season will see a February final act similar to the fall campaign, which ended in October with a series of championship events – though none of them will be. ‘saw all the teams participate on a single site.

“Our hope is to plan safe and successful all-sport championships for all teams that can participate in the winter program,” said Clemmons.

The winter season is scheduled to start on the weekend of December 3.

Kent harris

Kent has held a number of roles at Stars and Stripes including: Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief, Journalist / Photographer, Web Editor and Overseas Sports Writer. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he served as TDY in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he graduated from Humboldt State University in 1988 and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.