1. Will there be fall sports?
Bowdoin will not be competing in fall varsity or club sports, and we will make decisions about intramurals closer to the beginning of the semester.
2. When will students know if winter and spring sports are happening?
A determination about winter and spring varsity and club sports will be made later in the fall. Winter season teams will not compete prior to January 2021.
3. What impact would only being able to practice or play a limited number of games have on my eligibility with the NCAA?
Students would not use a season of eligibility under NCAA rules if their team did not compete during the fall season. If teams play a limited number of contests (up to half of permissible regular season contests), or seasons end prematurely during the 2020-21 academic year due to COVID-19, the NCAA has provided a blanket waiver which will allow students to reclaim their season of eligibility.
4. What happens if Bowdoin does not field teams but other NESCAC colleges do?
The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) has cancelled Conference competition during the fall sports season. A decision regarding Conference competition for winter and spring seasons will be made at a later date.
5. Will athletic teams who are not competing continue to function as teams? Will they have coaches?
Teams, led by coaches, will continue to come together during the fall semester, albeit online. Coaches will provide athletically-related activity experiences for students who are on campus and they will continue to provide online support services for student-athletes who are both on and off campus during the fall semester.
6. Will members of teams have the opportunity to participate in athletic activity during the fall semester?
Yes, we expect first-year students, sophomores, juniors, and seniors on our fall, winter, and spring teams who will return to campus for the fall semester will have the opportunity to participate in individual and small group workouts with members of our coaching staff. The NESCAC has made adjustments to playing and practice season regulations to allow greater flexibility for student-athletes from all Bowdoin varsity teams to work with coaches during the fall semester.
7. What will the athletic experience be like for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who will not be able to return to campus for the fall semester?
Members of our teams will continue to be provided with workout plans, academic and personal support, and leadership development opportunities by our strength and conditioning staff and team coaching staffs. Even though students are not on campus, they will be able to have athletic-related meetings online with coaches on dates used by their team for workouts/practice during their nontraditional season (see below). Unfortunately, students not returning to campus for the fall semester will not be permitted to participate in individual or small group in-person workouts with our coaches. While there are many details to be finalized, we will work to provide a competitive athletic experience for our fall, winter, and spring teams during the spring semester in accordance with federal, state, local, and institutional safety guidelines.
8. What sports will be able to compete during the fall semester?
Unfortunately, with only first-year students and a limited number of sophomores, juniors, and seniors returning to campus, our fall and winter season teams will not compete against other institutions during the fall semester.
9. Will fall and winter season teams be able to compete during the spring semester?
We hope to receive approval from the NCAA to shift our competitive season from the fall to the spring semester, however, this approval will likely not occur until later in the summer or in the fall. The number of schools that will move fall sports to the spring semester is unknown, but we will work with Division III schools in similar positions to develop plans for the spring semester in the months ahead. For winter season teams, we are planning for competitive seasons to begin in January. We anticipate members of fall, winter, and spring season teams who are on campus for the fall semester will be able to have small group workouts with coaches in accordance with NCAA rules in the fall.
10. What does "in accordance with NCAA rules" mean for activity during the fall semester for fall, winter, and spring athletes who are on campus?
- If the fall season is classified as our nontraditional season with the NCAA for fall sports this year, fall season athletes would have the opportunity to have sixteen practice opportunities over a five-week period during the fall semester.
- This year, winter season teams will begin to practice on October 15th, which will allow for two additional weeks of individual and small group workouts in comparison to a traditional winter season. Nordic skiing will continue to follow its traditional season calendar.
- We anticipate spring season athletes will have sixteen practice opportunities for individual and small group workouts with coaches over a five-week period during the fall semester this year.
- As noted above, we have requested to designate the fall season as our nontraditional season with the NCAA for our fall sport teams (the fall is already designated as the nontraditional season for spring sports). The NCAA continues to evaluate the structure of the nontraditional season and may adjust guidelines to allow additional opportunities for students and coaches to work together. We will continue to monitor updates from the NCAA in the months ahead and adjust our plans accordingly.
11. What impact would participating in a nontraditional season have on my athletic eligibility with the NCAA?
Fall and spring sport athletes would not use a season of eligibility under NCAA rules by participating in a nontraditional season during the fall semester. Winter athletes on campus during the fall semester would not use a season of eligibility if they practice during the fall semester and their team does not compete in the spring semester. The NCAA has provided a blanket season of eligibility waiver for student-athletes when a team is unable to compete in more than half of their allowable contests due to COVID related challenges.
12. What will it be like to participate on a team at Bowdoin as a student living on campus this fall?
We will utilize the NCAA resocialization of sport guidelines, which call for a gradual return to sports activity. Workout/practice groups will initially be limited to ten people (including coaches), distancing will be adhered to, masks/face coverings will be worn when distancing cannot be maintained, sharing of equipment among players will be limited, and training sessions will focus on individual skill work. The NCAA has developed guidance for competition which will govern larger group work by our teams during the fall semester. Our athletic training staff will work with coaches and student-athletes to put enhanced personal hygiene and equipment cleaning practices in place. Small group and individual meetings will take place online or outdoors.
13. How often will members of teams who are on campus be tested for COVID-19?
As outlined in President Rose’s messages to our community, testing will occur twice during the week; this process will be the same for all students living on campus and staff who work directly with students. Members of teams reporting positive symptoms will be tested and follow protocols put in place by the Health Center, and a student or staff member will not be allowed to participate in team activities while awaiting test results. It will be imperative for the health and safety of students and staff members that anyone associated with our teams provides accurate symptom reports regardless of the impact positive symptoms may have on their ability, or that of the team, to practice or—eventually during the spring semester—to compete.
14. What happens if we have a positive test result on our team?
Students and coaches will be asked to provide likely contact groups at the beginning of our seasons to assist with contact tracing in the event of a positive test. We will test anyone who was potentially exposed to the person who tested positive, and those undergoing testing will not be permitted to participate in team activities while awaiting test results. Community members testing positive will enter the protocols in place by the College for a positive test result.
15. Will athletic training and locker rooms be available to students?
Athletic training rooms will be available to students on an appointment basis, and students will enter training rooms when directed by an athletic trainer. Hot/cold tubs will not be available, and many services historically provided in a training room will be provided in a tent outdoors. Students will wear a face covering while being treated by an athletic trainer, who will also be wearing a face covering. Locker rooms will be available on a limited basis, and students will be asked to follow Bowdoin protocols regarding wearing a face covering inside buildings on campus. Our equipment room and athletic training staff will have enhanced daily cleaning protocols in place for our athletic training and locker rooms.