Athletics during the 2020–21 academic year

Information about athletic practices and competition

Note: The content on this page was current through May, 2021. It is now outdated and will be replaced over Summer 2021 to reflect information for the Fall semester. See Summer Rules for the current COVID-19 behavior rubric.

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 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. No announcement has been made about winter and spring sports at this time.

Spring sport decisions

Discussions are ongoing among the Centennial Conference schools about what the spring semester potentially could entail. At this time, we do not have an exact date on when an announcement about the spring semester will be made. Ensuring the student-athletes have a safe and healthy environment to practice, and possibly compete, is the Conference’s number one priority.

As potential plans are being crafted, all CDC, state, local, NCAA, and individual campus policies and protocols are being taken into consideration. We anticipate that the NCAA will be issuing updated COVID-19 guidance soon. This will also help inform our decision-making. Regardless of what the spring ultimately looks like, please know that our coaches will continue to work hard to support and care for each member of their teams, as well as keep them creatively engaged.

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 in 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 outlined by equipment room staff. Additional resources for disinfecting non-linen equipment used by student-athletes are being explored.