Spring sports prepare for season, despite COVID unknowns

By Joey Fisher, '22 Staff Writer

In spite of fall and winter NCAA championships being cancelled earlier this academic year, the NCAA is holding out hope that they will be able to host championships for all spring sports. 

“St. John Fisher has no plans of cancelling any spring sports,” Athletic Director Bob Ward said in a statement.  New changes to Fisher Athletics include the use of masks during competition and restrictions to scheduling that limit travel and exposure.

While many teams are waiting to finalize a schedule for the season, the school’s baseball and softball teams have released their schedules. In past seasons,  Fisher teams have traveled out of the state  to play against non-New York State schools. However due to travel restrictions, this year’s athletic schedules feature only in-state opponents. The scheduling is also more condensed to limit exposure to COVID-19 during the season and keep the athletes and campus safe.

According to the website, the Empire 8 Conference — Fisher’s athletic conference — has set dates for all spring conference championships, most of which are scheduled for late April and early May. Many winter sports have delayed their start to the season until the spring semester, and as a result the start for many spring sports will be later than in past seasons.

While plans are set for now, the NCAA and Empire 8 Conference will continually monitor the pandemic  and act accordingly if they conclude carrying out championships will be too great of a risk.

Club teams are still accepting new members. However, they are not allowed to practice together or travel due to the pandemic. Clubs will still hold virtual or in-person meetings to discuss any news or plans, but regular club practices and exhibitions are prohibited to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep  the campus community safe.

Intramural plans are still pending as  Fisher assesses safety issues. The usual spring intramural sports offered are men’s and women’s basketball, indoor soccer, co-ed volleyball and floor hockey. When  there is a  finalized plan for this semester, an email will be sent out to students with more information.

The athletic center is open to all students, but in an effort to combat contact tracing and large gatherings, you must make a reservation online. To make a reservation or find out more information about gym policies regarding COVID, click here.

This semester, Fisher will be offering virtual fitness classes for students that are interested in staying active. Emails have been sent out to students with information about Zoom-hosted classes such as yoga or Zumba. For more information, email sga@sjfc.edu.

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