All over the United States, college athletes will have to take drastic measures just to play their season. With that said, COVID-19 will change athletics at SIUE, but not for the better. Every single sport in the fall and spring will have procedures athletes need to follow to be able to even participate in their sport, but the way each sport weathers the storm will be different.
The biggest procedure all sports have to follow is each athlete needs to be quarantined for a week before getting tested for COVID-19. This is meant to allow the athlete to have a better outcome when they get the results back, but it causes many complications for the athletic program.
Athletes have the ability to choose when they want to come back to campus, which indicates their start of their quarantine period. When they start quarantine, they have rules to follow that are either given by the coaches or self-imposed.
The international students that play at SIUE will have the most complications when coming back to campus. As of right now, some can’t get back into the U.S, so there is no way they can start their quarantine even if they wanted to. Then there are the athletes that live in the dorms, who have to find a different place to live for the summer until housing opens for the fall semester.
Everyone coming back to Edwardsville at different times causes each person to have a different timeline when it comes to getting back to training with their team. Having us all be on different timelines will put each athlete at a different level of the lifting program.
While I started my quarantine on July 1 and got tested on July 8, there are other girls on the soccer team who didn’t get to Edwardsville until July 3, making it so they had to wait to get tested. Having us not test at the same time causes the team not to train as one, but in separate groups.
Splitting team sports into multiple groups to train will not help the team when the season starts. July is the time for teams that have seasons in the fall to connect before their seasons start. Not having the whole month to connect will show once the season begins because there will be less chemistry.
Athletes also have rules when it comes to seeing people on their team or other athletes before and after they get tested. We have to stay in our “family,” meaning we can’t see anyone except the people we train with.
These rules vary with each sport. Volleyball is another sport that trains during the summer, and their rules aren’t as excessive as women's soccer. While my team can only see the people we train with, volleyball players can see whoever they want.
“Our coach is understanding and not strict about things,” Hannah Bagley, junior outside hitter said. “She just wants us to be smart about things and have a good state of mind.”
The volleyball players just need to make sure they have masks and avoid large crowds when they go out.
It can be hard to understand the full extent of the impact COVID-19 is having on SIUE sports, especially if one is not on the field every day of the week training for hours. So the idea of having to quarantine for seven days is going to be a huge mess for any athlete wanting to have a normal season.