Courtesy of Yale Athletics

On Monday, Yale Athletics returned to Phase I of the Ivy League’s three-phase plan for the resumption of athletic activities, the department’s Associate Athletic Director of Strategic Communications Mike Gambardella confirmed with the News in an email Monday evening.

As of Monday evening, Yale remains at an orange COVID-19 alert level. 56 positive test results were recorded between Nov. 8 and Nov. 14 — representing about one quarter of total University cases since Aug. 1. The Athletic Department’s move to Phase I follows new restrictions for on-campus students announced last Friday by Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun, including forbidding on-campus students from leaving campus and only allowing off-campus students into their residential colleges for testing.

This week represents the last week of residential life before Yale moves fully online and most students are required to exit dorms by Saturday. The last week of classes will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, with most of campus shut down.

The return to Phase I comes after Yale spent 10 days in Phase 0. On Nov. 6, University Provost Scott Strobel and Yale’s COVID-19 Coordinator Stephanie Spangler wrote in an email to the Yale community that varsity teams would not be moving past Phase I for the rest of the semester. By that evening, the University had changed its alert status to orange after a cluster of 20 cases appeared in Davenport, Grace Hopper and Saybrook colleges, which also triggered Yale Athletics’ move to Phase 0.

The latest period in Phase 0 was the third stretch of time that no in-person team activities were allowed. The first stint in Phase 0 occurred at the start of the semester from Aug. 31 to Sept. 21, while the second lasted from Oct. 13 to Oct. 26 after a cluster was identified on the men’s hockey team.

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“The move to Phase I feels great, indicating we as a University are doing all we can to resume athletics in the safest way possible as we continue to try and move in the right direction,” Yale baseball captain and catcher Cal Christofori ’21 said. “Ending the semester on a high note is awesome, and certainly we are all optimistic this trend can continue. It definitely gives student-athletes some momentum heading into break and for when we come back in February.”

During Phase I, teams are allowed to meet for one hour of daily strength and conditioning training with 10 or fewer student-athletes participating. According to Ivy League phasing policies, athletes must stay six feet apart during the sessions. Monday’s move marks the third time that Yale Athletics has entered Phase I of the Ancient Eight’s return to practice plan since the start of the semester.

“It’s nice to end a crazy semester together with my team,” women’s crew team member and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President Hannah Johns ’22 said.

As part of last Thursday’s Ivy League announcement canceling winter sports and postponing spring competition until at least the end of February, the conference noted that its phased approach to training for enrolled student-athletes will continue into next semester.

Yale moved to Phase II, which allowed for sport-specific training, only once this semester. The period lasted from Oct. 7 to Oct 13.

Eugenio Garza García |

Correction, Nov. 17: A previous version of this article mischaracterized the new restrictions imposed on the movement of on-campus students. The story has been updated to read that on-campus students are banned from leaving campus.

Eugenio Garza García covers baseball, golf and athletic phasing. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, he is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Economics and English.