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React rolls in to winter prep sports changes

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

* Background is here if you need it. NBC 5

On the eve of a special IHSA board meeting to announce new details about the fate of the winter high school sports season, Illinois health officials have moved basketball from being classified as a “moderate risk” sport to the “higher risk” category.

According to new guidelines released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the department assessed the risk for transmission associated with basketball, and found that it should be classified as a “higher risk” activity. […]

While it isn’t clear what that could mean for the winter basketball season, some clarity could be coming, as the IHSA will host a special board meeting on Wednesday to provide updates on its various winter sports, and to vote on the path forward for those activities.

* Tribune

Winter high school sports seasons in Illinois were “put on hold” Tuesday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Practice for boys and girls basketball seasons were expected to begin Nov. 16, with games to be played as early as Nov. 30.

But the IDPH moved basketball from medium risk to high risk on its website Tuesday, and under current conditions in the coronavirus pandemic, high-risk sports are allowed only no-contact practices.

* IHSA statement

Craig Anderson, IHSA Executive Director:

“About 15 minutes prior to Governor Pritzker’s press conference today, we were alerted that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has elevated the sport of basketball from a medium risk level to a high risk level. We remain considerate of the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our state. However, in our meeting with IDPH on Friday (October 23), we felt that we presented multiple options that would allow for basketball to be conducted safely by IHSA schools this winter, many of which are being utilized in neighboring states who plan to play high school basketball. Despite that setback, there is some positive news, as IDPH accepted the IHSA’s mitigations related to other sports, including cheerleading and dance, allowing them to move from a medium risk level to a low risk level. We will hold our special Board of Directors meeting on October 28 as scheduled, where our Board will provide direction on the other winter sports, as well as discuss the IHSA sports schedule for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.”

* News-Gazette

Later Tuesday, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association released its own statement in response to Pritzker’s announcement, with the organization’s Twitter account posting that the IBCA is “very disappointed to learn of (Tuesday’s) decision by the governor and IDPH.”

“Our data suggests that the spread of this virus has been minimal inside our gyms among our student-athletes and coaches,” the IBCA statement reads.

The aforementioned data comes from a survey sent out by the group to the state’s basketball coaches that tabulated both the use of summer and fall contact days and the number of positive COVID-19 tests in programs.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes will always be a primary consideration of our coaches,” the statement reads. “But we have not been given specific information as to why basketball has been elevated to “High Risk” in Illinois. … The lack of transparency is incredibly frustrating for all of us who simply want to enjoy playing the game of basketball in our home state of Illinois.

“We strongly urge the governor and IDPH to re-evaluate their decision to move basketball to the “High Risk” category and to provide clarity with the metrics used to drive these decisions.”

* Bucky Dent

This is not to criticize Pritzker for using science and data to make his decisions. He’s been very consistent on that over the last 7 ½ months. And you’d rather see someone err on the side of caution in a pandemic.

But you can’t blame players, coaches and administrators around the state for feeling as though Pritzker dealt them the stick’s short end again. It’s also not unfair to say that the lines of communication between Pritzker and the IHSA could stand to be much better.

If it looks like Pritzker has upstaged the IHSA in order to get his way, well, you know what they say.

Perception for some is reality.

* Related…

* Prep Basketball Coaches Disappointed Sport Moved to ‘High Risk,’ Await IHSA Decision Wednesday

* Local coaches react to Gov. Pritzker, IDPH release of new winter sport guidelines

* Coaches upset with basketball’s upgrade to high-risk sport

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Gone MCCreedy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 7:27 am:

    The Governor has jumped the shark with the basketball shutdown.


  2. - Concerned Dem - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 7:53 am:

    I have trouble feeling sorry for an organization feeling like its being upstaged when just a few weeks ago some of their most high profile figures were holding rallies that bashed the Governor.


  3. - Watching - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:16 am:

    I’m not a doctor, not a scientist, and I did not stay at a holiday inn last night. However, from a layman’s view, how was Basketball NOT in the high risk category from the start? Most of the time spent on court is within six feet of another player and wihout protection.

    I’m not argueing the merits of shutdown vs open; just sayin’ basketball seems high risk to me in terms of spreading an airborne pathogen.


  4. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:21 am:

    == I have trouble feeling sorry for an organization feeling like its being upstaged when just a few weeks ago some of their most high profile figures were holding rallies that bashed the Governor.==

    the ‘high profile’ figures who were protesting were private coaches and people who run for-profit sports operations, they don’t have an affiliation with the IHSA and tbh consider the IHSA a problem because the IHSA has rules that make it harder for them to make money.


  5. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:25 am:

    I have to agree with Watching.


  6. - ajjacksson - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:30 am:

    Watching….that’s a great question. Why was basketball not “high risk” at the start?

    The way basketball is played did not change between July 2020 and October 2020. So either the IDPH was incompetent with its original designation in July, or the current re-designation to “high risk” is politically motivated.

    It’s either incompetence or political. In either case, high school kids are pawns.

    Further, the fact that the Governor’s office will not communicate with the IHSA is arrogant and unacceptable.

    Perhaps someone ought to remind the Governor that all current juniors and seniors will vote in the Gubernatorial election in November 2022. I guarantee you they will remember.


  7. - Mr. Hand - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:38 am:

    The National Federation of High School Sports also designates basketball as medium risk sport.


  8. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:42 am:

    There’s an argument that basketball should have been considered high risk from the start. But then again we continue to learn about this virus and how it’s spread. Regardless of the designation allowing basketball this fall doesn’t seem wise. As predicted we’re seeing record numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations and ICU usage is up. That’s all on us not the governor. The governor is reacting to the current set of circumstances which we created. Don’t blame it on politics (there’s no political upside) blame it on our inability to do what we needed to do to get things under control.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:42 am:

    ===the current re-designation to “high risk” is politically motivated.

    It’s either incompetence or political. In either case, high school kids are pawns.===

    Narrator: sports are extra curricular activities.

    === the fact that the Governor’s office will not communicate with the IHSA is arrogant and unacceptable.===

    Nope. Sorry. No.

    After the IHSA threw the governor under the bus, not being a partner in a global pandemic, nope, they lost that, if anything, the Governor *needs* to pre-empt folks not on the “team” and looking for scapegoats.

    === that all current juniors and seniors will vote in the Gubernatorial election in November 2022. I guarantee you they will remember.===

    The governor will likely remember all those Illinoisans who died, those who are struggling to recover.

    The governor is unlikely to get votes from Covidiots, so if you think students will fall into that category, as opposed to REAL issues… maybe vote for the bigoted views of a Raunerite-Trump candidate… I have more faith in students who actually understand real issues, not extra-curricular angst.


  10. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:43 am:

    Agree that basketball should have been deemed high risk from the get go. Labeling it as such now is unfortunate from a timing perspective and gives the conspiracy theorists more ammunition against JB.


  11. - Eastside - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:44 am:

    I believe basketball was initially listed as a “medium risk” sport because it is not considered to be a contact sport (like soccer, volleyball, etc.) Only sports listed as “high risk” were contact sports (football, wrestling, hockey, etc.) I think it is that simple. Not to say it was right or wrong, just giving my understanding of the reasoning. Not sure what the justification is for changing the designation.


  12. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:45 am:

    @ajjackson- Take a breath man.The IHSA does not belong at the front of the communication line, especially during a pandemic.

    Given the IHSA’s history of decision making incompetence, they have no business criticizing anyone for their communication or transparency. The IHSA is about as transparent as mud.

    The IHSA is not well understood by the general public or students and they like it that way (ask Linda Chapa LaVia about that), so when they get all misty I just have to laugh. You are correct though, kids are usually caught in the middle but if I am going to believe anyone’s intentions in this mess it will be Pritzker especially after more than 20 years of dealing with the IHSA.

    =The health and safety of our student-athletes will always be a primary consideration of our coaches,=

    It should read most coaches, but not all.

    =he ‘high profile’ figures who were protesting were private coaches =

    Some were club and youth league coaches but not all. And some of those club coaches also coach for public schools. The IHSA wasn’t officially represented, but a couple of their high profile members were.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 8:46 am:

    === a timing perspective and gives the conspiracy theorists more ammunition against JB.===

    We’re already seeing that in comments here.

    The thing is?

    The thing is, keeping it in a flux kinda movement allows not only a pause, but will also allow a resumption.

    You get inflexible to a global pandemic and concerns, then trying to help becomes far more difficult.

    Still, that’s about right, it allows conspiracies to begin full throttle


  14. - ajjacksson - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:01 am:

    So, OW, why the original “medium risk” designation?


  15. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:05 am:

    “It’s either incompetence or political.” Or perhaps it was based on science, and additional evidence showed that the change in risk level was appropriate.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:08 am:

    - ajjacksson -

    I’m not a doctor of epidemiology, or a doctor in any medical way of study.

    I’ll let those who are in those fields answer those questions… today.

    Loopholes aren’t going to get us any closer to stopping the spread either.

    If you want rigidity, the virus is anything but rigid, except for being infected or not being infected.


  17. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:11 am:

    =So, OW, why the original “medium risk” designation?=

    We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and seeing record case counts, rising hospitalizations, and more people in the ICU. Varsity HS basketball involves 10-15 players. Who cares? We have to get our priorities straight here. We’re 8 months into this and we have people that still won’t wear masks or forgo large gatherings. Until we address the immediate problems in front of us things like football and basketball should be merely an afterthought.


  18. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:24 am:

    ===Only sports listed as “high risk” were contact sports===

    That to me is where someone got it wrong. Basketball is most certainly a contact sport; especially down low. If it weren’t there’d be no need to allow each player up to five fouls during the course of a game before being disqualified.


  19. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:33 am:

    Just because basketball has been reclassified does not mean there was incompetence in the original decision. It might have simply been a mistake (they happen), or perhaps JB deferred to coaches too much in the past. Things happen, knowledge increases. Get over blaming and get with preventing, Amy.


  20. - Rasselas - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    Could the difference be that basketball in the summer was being played outdoors (like baseball), but during the winter, it will be played indoors?


  21. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:37 am:

    =all current juniors and seniors will vote in the Gubernatorial election in November 2022. I guarantee you they will remember. =

    Frankly, most of them won’t care. And among those who do, you will find many who understand the situation and realize that their health and that of coaches, faculty, and family, is more important than a game.


  22. - don the legend - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    ==“Our data suggests that the spread of this virus has been minimal inside our gyms among our student-athletes and coaches,” the IBCA statement reads.==

    To heck with the IDPH and the experts, let’s use the Coach’s Association “data”.


  23. - Suburban Mom - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    Be great if the “but mah sports” people could put the blame where it belongs — on the people who continue to refuse to wear masks and defy social distancing rules or state shutdown orders.

    Worse are the club teams who are renting playing fields/gyms/ice in neighboring states — Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri — driving two Illinois teams there, playing with no social distancing, and returning to Illinois, with no quarantining. EVERY WEEKEND.

    Why can’t we have high school sports? Oh, I don’t know, the literally hundreds of families who are flatly flouting the rules to travel to high-Covid states and engage in high-risk activities and then come home to spread the virus? Because God forbid their junior high schooler miss a season of hockey.


  24. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    Treating wrestling, basketball and hockey the same as high risk defies logic.

    Hockey players are literally covered from head to to and wear helmets with face shields


  25. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:02 am:

    I don’t know I would have classed Hockey risky because of the environment (cold, on ice). That seems similar to meat packing environment where we know the virus spreads well.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    === Hockey players are literally covered from head to to and wear helmets with face shields===

    … and yet the NHL, the most premier hockey league in the world, had a “bubble-type” experience for their season to resume, and the cities chosen to host the teams in a bubble were deemed the “safest”

    So… there’s that… ya know… with all that equipment and face shields and all.


  27. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    ===Treating wrestling, basketball and hockey the same as high risk defies logic===

    Is it corrupt and incompetent, too? Judgment follows politics. BTW, I think hockey players might disagree, even with a face shield. They are bumping and breathing hard within 6 ft, sometimes even 6 inches. I might disagree about some of these things as well, but I have better things to do with my time than nitpick medium versus high.


  28. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    “Hockey players are literally covered from head to to and wear helmets with face shields.” Most players that wear one (and not all do) wear a cage. Cages, if you didn’t already know, are pretty poor at blocking particulates.


  29. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    For all this talk of ‘player safety’, I read this morning how Justin Turner of the Dodgers (in the Arlington ‘bubble’ for the past month) tested positive for Covid.
    If MLB can’t protect their players, what hope does the IHSA have?


  30. - bogey golfer - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:22 am:

    One group hasn’t been discussed…officials. Need at least 2 refs to do a basketball game. 3 for varsity. Not required to carry insurance. They don’t do it for the pay. Perhaps a number are now saying not worth the risk.


  31. - Anonish - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    As an IHSA referee who works a winter sport if they opt to have my season during this winter I will take this year off. It’s not worth the risk for me.
    I am still undecided on if I will work even if they move the season to the springtime.


  32. - snakepliskin69 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    Many of our students considered high risk are only in high school now due to the extracurricular activities. Studies show that they are less likely to drop out when involved in athletics and fine arts. I am concerned about the kids that will drop out because they now have no reason to go to school. Their lives will be forever changed by this.


  33. - AvidReader - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    @Suburban Mom - Spot on comment. Recently read about a local group of high school boys traveling out-of-state and bringing home the gold. It is an emotional time for players, parents, coaches, athletic directors, and fans. I love high school basketball, but I also want to keep our community healthy.


  34. - LakeCo - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    =Hockey players are literally covered from head to to and wear helmets with face shields=

    They play indoors, right? They breathe air, right? The latest research shows that COVID is transmitted through aeorosols, not just droplets. And aerosols build up in indoor environments when a bunch of people are breathing hard. Keep up.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    Let’s unpack some of this…

    Let’s start right here.

    ===Their lives will be forever changed by this.===

    The entire world, everyone’s lives are forever changed by this.

    Folks who lost family, friends, neighbors… doctors and nurses, their lives, forever changed. Talk to doctors and nurses, holding hands of those dying alone, of seeing colleagues become ill, or worse…

    “Their lives will be forever changed by this.”

    Yeah, not playing an extra curricular activity, in the scheme of all things we’re gonna blanket statement, not the best argument. Nope.

    ===Many of our students considered high risk are only in high school now due to the extracurricular activities. Studies show that they are less likely to drop out when involved in athletics and fine arts.===

    I’ve gone into the sports, let’s talk…

    “fine arts.”

    School plays? They aren’t happening at a very high frequency.

    Band? Orchestras? Are there performances going on? Auditoriums? Concerts?

    Why aren’t they? High risk?

    What concert tours are going on? None. How many theatres are open? Broadway isn’t set to open until “maybe” June 2021, and that might be up to local officials. Maybe.

    If you’re part of a society, sometimes it ain’t about “you”, and in a pandemic, especially when protecting others right now we are failing more than succeeding, there are no fine arts, none.

    It’s not the shutdown, it’s the virus.

    === Studies show that they are less likely to drop out when involved in athletics and fine arts. I am concerned about the kids that will drop out because they now have no reason to go to school.===

    Given the challenges of Covid-19, while the study has merit in normal times, and I’m a huge advocate for both fine arts and sports, equally… your measure of past times to the now isn’t a true measure of the actual… and it ignores the challenges of a global pandemic.


  36. - Chatham Resident - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    ==“fine arts.”==

    Fine arts (especially music) can be done solo at home, with your own instruments. If you have them. Then film yourself on Facebook Live. A novel concept.

    Is there a way for Scholastic Bowl to be done individually at home? Maybe as a virtual competitive individual trivia night or Jeopardy-like event against other individuals and schools.


  37. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:20 am:

    “Their lives will be forever changed by this.”

    So will the life of my special needs daughter whose day program has been shut down since March and both her summer camps cancelled (which she loves).

    Get over yourself, you and you child are not the only ones who are impacted.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    === Fine arts (especially music) can be done solo at home, with your own instruments. If you have them. Then film yourself on Facebook Live. A novel concept.===

    Now do a school play, or a musical.

    Some instruments don’t lend themselves to solo performances, but Zoom orchestra and band events are picking up steam.

    Fight the virus, we get some semblance of life back, but extra curricular activities are like a lower tier win, as schools still struggle with Zoom classes


  39. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    Sports are more important than life itself…it would seem.


  40. - Snakepliskin69 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    Wow. Didn’t realize I would get personally attacked for saying that I felt sorry for at risk kids and how they maybe impacted by an absence of extracurriculars. The solo piece may be good for practice, but the real benefit from extracurricular activities is to provide at-risk students with opportunities to develop positive connections to school and to more conventional social networks. The covid is bad. Need to take precautions. Schools have a lot on their plate with trying to teach kids in a way they aren’t used to doing. Yes, all segments of society are being impacted. At risk students are just another group that will suffer. Nothing more nothing less.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:45 am:

    === personally attacked===

    You didn’t. I broke down your argument. Don’t pretend to be a victim.


  42. - Snakepliskin69 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    There was literally no argument.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:51 am:

    - Snakepliskin69 -

    Whew.

    “Good luck”


  44. - snakepliskin69 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:57 am:

    Thanks Oswego Willy! You too!


  45. - Highland IL - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    First they came for football, and I did not speak out—because I was not a football coach.

    Then they came for volleyball, and I did not speak out— because I was not a volleyball coach.

    Then they came for lacrosse, and I did not speak out—because……it was lacrosse.

    Then they came for basketball—and there was no one left to speak for me.


  46. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    Highland IL @ 12:37 pm

    Nice use of Bonhoeffer. Keep in mind that the war is with the virus and, in this instance, WE (at least those who don’t follow CDC guidelines) are the enemy.
    Melbourne shows us that, contrary to Mark Meadows, the pandemic CAN be controlled.


  47. - DoinStuff - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Basketball as a high risk sport? Sure - I can go with that - lots of blocking out and close contact.

    Dance and cheer as a low risk sport? Sure, with masking, seems relatively low risk.

    Hockey as high risk? I can’t get on board with this one - youth hockey is a non-contact sport ages 14 and down. That’s the overwhelming majority of youth players. The rest of the body contact is glancing hip to hip - players are not falling on top of each other and untangling in say football.

    USA Hockey released a COVID-19 report backed by physicians/researchers - hockey players spend around less than 3 minutes within close proximity of others players over the entire game. I think most health departments say you have to have spent more than 15 minutes in direct contact/exposure to fall into a higher exposure risk category.

    Played inside? Yep, but ice rinks are held to higher indoor air standards due (ie, more air intake and exhaust to rid the carbon monoxide emissions from running the zam every 75 minutes around the clock).

    Bottom line, in my humble opinion, the greatest risk is not in competition - it’s everything that occurs beyond the court, field, ice - its the social aspects (post-game team/family dinners, for example) that contribute to community spread. These things can be mitigated, however.

    Finally - the current condition of sports is this - you have two buckets with the first being high school sponsored sports, and the second competitive club sports. The competitive club sports are simply driving out of state to areas with higher infection rates - seems sorta regressive.


  48. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    “Fine arts (especially music) can be done solo at home,” … sez a person who obviously doesn’t play bass drum.


  49. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    The concern is not just on the court during a game. Spectators in the stands, referees, dressing in the locker room, practices…there are so many opportunities for lax enforcement leading to spread to more vulnerable populations.


  50. - Michael Feltes - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    > Is there a way for Scholastic Bowl to be done individually at home? Maybe as a virtual competitive individual trivia night or Jeopardy-like event against other individuals and schools.

    I played in high school and occasionally read questions. There might be some clever way to account for lag over an Internet connection that I’m not aware of, but on first blush that seems like an insurmountable obstacle. You could do spelling and geography bees online because they’re turn-based, but the difference between buzzes can be a fraction of a second.


  51. - harp5339 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    Medium risk, high risk, who cares? Neither level allows for competition games against other schools so the season wasn’t going to go forward regardless.


  52. - Still Waiting - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    Good grief. IHSA just emailed outa statement saying they are going to go ahead with basketball this winter in spite of yesterday’s announcement. Horrible. IHSA needs to sit down and shut up.


  53. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    =IHSA just emailed outa statement saying they are going to go ahead with basketball this winter in spite of yesterday’s announcement. Horrible. IHSA needs to sit down and shut up.=

    Maybe this will get the state to take a closer look at the IHSA for once.

    My suspicion is that they know (Matt Troha isn’t dumb) they will get over ridden (since they have no authority) by the state and this is a way to get people off of their back and make the governor the bad guy.

    Basketball is their biggest money maker, so I am sure that is a part of their motivation as well. Unlike the IESA, the IHSA has a large cash reserve and can operate normally for a long time even without the tournaments. They also have an insurance pool that they have a relationship with, although I do not know what kind of revenue that generates for the IHSA.

    Either way, they are wrong and they are doing what DeVore and the Eastern Block have been doing.


  54. - Rasselas - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:07 pm:

    Skeptic - ““Fine arts (especially music) can be done solo at home,” … sez a person who obviously doesn’t play bass drum.” - sez a person who never had a percussionist child.

    No one is a ‘bass drum’ player, they’re a percussionist. They will sit at a drum set, or even a practice pad, and play along with music for hours at a time. They can probably entertain themselves and train themselves at home better than any other band player.


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