Clemson students love sports. No doubt about it. Whether it is cheering on the Tigers or playing a game yourself, sports is a common theme in Tigertown.
The Princeton Review recently ranked Clemson third in the “Everyone plays intramural sports” category. Others will choose to play club sports, which is a little more competitive than intramurals. Clemson offers a sport for everyone with 33 different club sports to choose from: Air Rifle, Baseball, Basketball, Bass Fishing, Climbing, Cycling, Disc Golf, Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Paintball, Rowing, Rugby, Running, Sailing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, Water Polo, Watersports and Wrestling.
Intramural and club sports are a great way for students to stay active in college, meet new people and make fun memories. Like many things, intramural and club sports are undoubtedly going to feel the effects of COVID-19 and are going to have to change the way they operate.
Already with the delay of move-in and in-person instruction, intramural and club sports have had to adjust their schedules and push their start date back. Clemson has told club sports players and coaches that they cannot organize in any capacity until Sept. 21, the first day of in-person classes. Assuming that does not change, club sports will then begin to hold tryouts and practices.
Clemson University has set social distancing rules that they believe will help them control coronavirus on campus. Just like with any other Clemson affiliated club, intramural and club sports have to adhere to the COVID-19 safety requirements, including social distancing, density, and maximum occupancy and mask standards. Furthermore, Clemson has stated that any event that includes 50 or more participants on Clemson’s campus must first be reviewed and approved. Oftentimes a club sports team will have close to or even over 50 people on their rosters. So, if they were to play another team in a game, there would most likely be between 50 and 100 people there, and possibly more.
It is important to note that although varsity level sports at Clemson, like football, soccer and volleyball are all going to be playing their seasons, they have a lot more resources available to them that will allow them to potentially put in more safety measures than an intramural or club sports team may. Football players for example, will be tested for COVID-19 three times a week every week that they have a game. So, if there is a player who has the virus, the team will be able to catch it quickly and isolate that person so that it does not spread to the rest of the team. It is not yet known if there will be a requirement for any intramural or club sports participant to get tested.
There are still a lot of unknowns and uncertainties about how this will all work for intramural and club sports this fall. Like will they be able to travel and play other schools as they would usually do? How much COVID-19 testing will players and coaches have to have? Will there be a stricter cap on how many players a team will be allowed to have? With Sept. 21 fast approaching, hopefully we will get those answers soon.