The majority of Northwest College’s athletic competition won’t pick up until the spring semester, but the school has released its plan for teams to train safely until then.
These new guidelines pertain to the health protocols of various aspects of a Trapper student-athlete’s life, including practice, athletic training and more.
Moving sports to the second semester wasn’t the original plan, but the college is making the best of it.
“While we are disappointed that fall sports have been moved to spring, we understand the difficult decision made by the NJCAA,” NWC president Stefani Hicswa said. “We look forward to the return of athletic competitions in the spring.”
According to the fall operational plan, athletes will be required to wash their hands each day before any athletic activity. Coaches are also responsible for keeping any equipment sanitized, as well as any practice space. Additionally, student-athletes will be restricted from sharing personal items, such as water bottles, with one another.
As far as practice facilities, student-athletes must complete mandatory student health screening before they can enter practice facilities. These facilities must be supervised at all times. Locker rooms will be restricted to only student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other staff members, and visitors are not allowed in any practice facilities.
Student-athletes must also complete the health screening before any athletic training, and face coverings must be worn at all times while in the athletic training room.
The only NWC sport that will have official competition this fall is rodeo, which isn’t affiliated with the NJCAA. For rodeo, participants are allowed to travel to competitions in their own vehicles, but if they carpool with another student-athlete, face coverings are required.
While fall sports — such as soccer and volleyball — won’t play regular-season games until the next semester, the programs are allowed to play in a few scrimmages. Any road scrimmages must be day trips, and spectators will not be able to attend.
All in all, the guidelines are intended to set the Trappers up well for an upcoming semester filled with athletic competition.
“I believe our college has done a great job in creating a plan for our teams to compete while keeping our staff and student-athletes safe,” said Brian Erickson, NWC athletic director. “Each one of them has the determination to adapt and change during a game or match, and I know they will do a great job adapting to our athletic response plan.”