The Centennial Conference has announced that intercollegiate competition will be canceled through Dec. 31, 2020.
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Intercollegiate competition canceled
Amidst the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, on August 14, 2020, the Centennial Conference Presidents’ Council decided to cancel intercollegiate competition for all fall and winter sports through Dec. 31, 2020.
In July, the Presidents’ Council made the decision to suspend competition with the hope of returning to play later this fall. In the weeks since, the majority of Centennial institutions have opted for remote learning or are bringing back smaller segments of their campus populations to ensure compliance with health and safety guidelines. The conference’s decision was also based on the recent National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors’ mandate of the NCAA Resocialization principles and the Division III Presidents' Council decision to cancel fall championships.
The conference presidents will continue to meet and discuss options for moving fall sports to the spring semester alongside the winter and spring sports.
Gettysburg remains determined to keep student-athletes active through strength and conditioning programs and other forms of team-specific training. The NCAA has allotted 114 days of practice/competition instead of the traditional/non-traditional segments, giving teams and coaches flexibility in approaching their seasons.
Teams will have opportunities to work together alongside coaches by following a phased-in approach that is in line with recommended guidelines established by the NCAA, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and federal, state, and local governments.
Club sports suspended
Club sports will also be suspended from competition during the fall semester. More information concerning this area will be available in the coming weeks. No announcement has been made about winter and spring sports at this time.
Athletic team practices
Athletics at Gettysburg will engage in a phased-in approach to resuming activities:
- Introductory Phase: Includes virtual activities and medical clearances. All team meetings will be conducted through virtual environments. During this phase, student-athletes will meet with medical personnel to determine overall health status.
- Phase I: Small group work with maximum of 10 participants (9 student-athletes, 1 coach/staff member). Activities will take place primarily outdoors or in well ventilated indoor spaces where physical distancing and proper sanitation protocols can be maintained.
- Phase II: Groups will expand to a maximum of 25 participants with limited equipment sharing and organized group activities.
- Phase III: Increase in group size with the addition of limited contact drills.
- Phase IV: Return to normal practice and competition.
There is no specific timeline related to the advancement through each phase. The sports medicine team in consultation with federal, state, local, NCAA, Centennial Conference, and institutional guidance will determine the progression through each phase.
Training and equipment room access
Access to the athletic training room and hydrotherapy room will be restricted. Student-athletes seeking treatment from the athletic trainers will need to schedule an appointment. Athletic trainers will continue to provide direct and personal care to student-athletes in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Physical distancing, face coverings, and hand-washing requirements will be strictly enforced. Close contact services such as taping will be limited and brace wearing will be encouraged as a suitable alternative.
The equipment room will continue its operation with health and safety measures in place to protect staff and student-athletes. Appointments to discuss equipment and facility needs will be required and hours of operation will be established upon confirmation of team activity schedules. Student-athletes picking up and dropping off clothing and equipment will need to follow prescribed procedures set down by the equipment room staff. Additional resources for disinfecting non-linen equipment used by student-athletes are being explored.
Keeping student athletes safe
Sukky Nd-Ezuma ’23 from men’s basketball shows some of the new safety measures being put in place to protect the health of students and staff.