No More Pods at Sports Practices

Bridgewater College Athletics Move Towards Another Progression Phase

Soccer

Photo by Jordan Davis

Sport practices are scheduled to resume to full squads on Nov. 02, after a six-week pod phase to delay the rises in COVID-19 cases.

Jordan Davis, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College Athletics are expected to progress into one of the final stages of practice scheduling on Monday, Nov. 2, after a six-week phase of social distancing team events. 

Student-athletes received word on Thursday, Oct. 29, that they are approved to remove the break-up of pods and practice with their full teams with a five-minute break in-between the contact drill. However, student-athletes are still required to wear their team-issued mask during the allotted contact drills. 

“It is good to see the athletic department progressing in a direction of more full team oriented practice sessions and is a positive testament to our process for handling sports during the pandemic here at BC,” said Denver Davis, the head coach for men and women’s track and field. 

“For the track and field teams this really helps our student-athletes who compete in multiple events and cross over between training groups. We will be able to integrate our multi-event folks into technique and event specific practices,” said Davis. 

“I thought Administration did a great job with the practice progression and phasing. The proof is in the numbers. Our program has zero COVID cases,” said Sarah Matthews, women’s basketball head coach. 

“I plan to have my girls do a lot of live playing. Some of our players have not played live since last season (nearly eight months ago). We wanted to get the rust off. Also, the best way to get into the basketball shape is by actually playing,” said Matthews.

This is the third phase student-athletes have gone through in order to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Phase One: Break up teams into multiple pods with no contact drills with the maximum of an hour and fifteen-minute practice.

Phase Two: Combine pods that do not overseed twenty athletes with ten-minute increment of mask wearing contact drills in a maximum of an hour and fifteen-minute practice. 

Nevertheless, some teams were allowed an exception to the second phase because their team number only went over the 20-person limit by no more than three. The women’s softball team, 23 athletes, and the men’s soccer team, 22 athletes, were both able to complete full squad practices during the second phase. 

“I am excited for full squad team practices,” said Michael Van Horn, women’s soccer head coach. “I plan to have the girls play and go over tactics that require the whole team to execute.”

Teams will continue to practice three days a week and are still required to complete daily temperature checks and LiveSafe app check-ins for both coaches and athletes under the new progression phase.