Jessie Cheung, Staff Photographer

As Yale student-athletes await news regarding spring sport competition, the Ivy League and Yale Athletics confirmed with the News that sport-specific activities will now be allowed in Phase I, among other changes geared to facilitate the path to future competition.

Last month, in a memo to spring-sport students and coaches, the Ivy League updated its constituents on the status regarding spring sport competition and other athletics-related news. In the status update, the league also stated that they were modifying the Ivy League’s plan for the resumption of athletic activities to allow for sport-specific practices in earlier phases. Last semester, Yale Athletics spent only six days in Phase II, which was the earliest stage in which teams could practice their respective sports. This semester, squads will be able to do this in Phase I which, had the change been implemented last semester, would have given Bulldogs 33 more days of sport-specific practice.

The changes to the Ivy League’s plan for the resumption of athletic activities were made by Ancient Eight officials in conjunction with university health officials from all eight schools.

“In the winter/spring … hourly limits are tied to the sports playing and practice season designation rather than the activity phase the team or campus is in,” Matt Panto, the associate executive director of strategic communications and external relations within the Ivy League, wrote in an email to the News. “The updated phases policy for the winter and spring … is designed to be nimble as we build towards a more normal training environment and, ultimately in the hopes of a return to intercollegiate athletics competition.”

Megan Graham, Production and Design Editor

In an email to the News, Yale’s Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications Mike Gambardella outlined the new phasing guidelines.

There are no significant changes to Phase 0, the stage Yale Athletics is currently in, with only virtual meetings between teams and coaches allowed. In Phase I, sport-specific practices are allowed, as long as participants are following social distancing guidelines.

In Phase II, the same requirements outlined in Phase I still apply, but group sizes and spacing between athletes may be adjusted in accordance with campus policies. Once Yale Athletics reaches Phase III, squads can meet for full practice without social distancing restrictions. The description of Phase IV includes the possibility of competition — but for now, competition has been postponed until March 1. No formal announcement has been made on whether there will be any spring sport competition this semester.

“Practice phases apply to enrolled in-residence student-athletes and remotely enrolled first years,” Gambardella said. “Phase advancement is determined in conjunction with Yale Health and the Yale Public Health Advisory Committee.”

Harvard’s Director of Athletics Erin McDermott wrote to her athletes and coaches that the spring phasing system “is intended as a path to competition, whenever it is deemed safe to resume.”

“That is definitely something that we are all excited about,” Jake Gehri ’22, a catcher on the Yale baseball team, said about the changes in phasing. “We had four total days of team practice in the fall. Saying it’s been a while is an understatement. It’s also very difficult to see other Ivy League teams practicing right now given Yale’s robust testing capabilities. To make matters worse, many of my friends from other D1 schools are playing their first scrimmage games this week.”

Dartmouth student-athletes returned to practice on Jan. 26 according to a story in The Dartmouth. Brown athletes returned to practice last week.

Eugenio Garza García | eugenio.garzagarcia@yale.edu

EUGENIO GARZA GARCíA
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.