Varsity teams will not move past Phase I for rest of semester
Yale Athletics, which reverted back to Phase 0 late Friday afternoon as the University increased its COVID-19 alert level to orange, will at most permit socially distant conditioning and strength training for the rest of the semester.
Courtesy of Yale Athletics
Varsity athletics will not move past Phase I for the rest of the semester, University Provost Scott Strobel and Yale’s COVID-19 Coordinator Stephanie Spangler announced in an email to students, faculty and staff on Friday morning.
The announcement, one of several updated University guidelines as viral spread intensifies in New Haven and Connecticut and after Governor Ned Lamont announced new state restrictions, came just a handful of hours before another change to Yale’s COVID-19 status — late Friday afternoon, Yale shifted to an orange alert level, which pushed all varsity athletic training back to Phase 0 through Sunday.
“Based upon our own experience and in alignment with the announcement of the Governor, we write to reinforce and modify our health and safety measures,” Strobel and Spangler wrote Friday morning. “Our goal is to complete the fall semester safely while preserving the academic mission of the university.”
In an email to the News early Monday morning, Mike Gambardella, associate athletic director of strategic communications, confirmed that Yale remains in Phase 0 Monday morning. The email did not specify a timeline for how long Yale would remain in this phase.
Phase 0 of the Ivy League’s three-stage approach to resuming athletic training does not permit any in-person athletic activities, while Phase I allows limited conditioning and strength training in socially distant groups of 10 or fewer student-athletes.
Yale Athletics did not respond to the News’ questions on the department’s phasing status this week, while three student-athletes reached by the News on Sunday said that they had not received additional information about whether Phase I will begin Monday or not.
“Varsity athletics will revert to phase zero (no in-person activities) through Sunday, November 8, when restrictions will be reevaluated,” Spangler’s Friday afternoon email read. “Intramurals will be paused for the same period.”
Yale’s move to Phase 0 represents the third time this semester that student-athletes have not been allowed to participate in any in-person activities. Teams began the year in Phase 0, during which athletes can only meet virtually with coaches, until Sept. 21. The Bulldogs then engaged in Phase I from Sept. 21 until Oct. 7 before moving to Phase II.
Yale Athletics only spent a total of six days in Phase II, which allowed teams to engage in a maximum of two hours per day of sport-specific activities and strength and conditioning training in groups of 10 or fewer.
“The University is doing everything they can to combat the spread of COVID,” Yale baseball catcher Jake Gehri ’22 said after the University announced Yale would remain in Phase I but before Yale raised its alert level to orange. “They are doing a good job of keeping us safe.”
The Bulldogs will not reach Phase III this fall, which would have permitted up to 12 hours a week of sport-specific activity in larger groups.
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Update, 8:55 a.m.: This article has been updated to include confirmation from Yale Athletics, which the News received after publication, that teams remain in Phase 0 on Monday.