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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

UChicago Fall Athletics Cancellation Q&A

Who made the decision to cancel fall sports competition?

UChicago's Athletics & Recreation Working Group, co-chaired by Dean of Students in the University Michele Rasmussen and Interim Athletics & Recreation Director Rosy Resch, used guidance from the CDC, Illinois and Chicago public health agencies, NCAA's Sports Science Institute, and specialists from UChicago Medicine to evaluate the feasibility of a safe return to competition. The number one concern has always been, and will continue to be, the safety and long-term health of the athletic and University community. The Working Group considered many scenarios before making this difficult decision.


When will decisions be made about winter sports?

We are hopeful that winter teams can begin practice during Autumn Quarter.  Winter sports teams will not be competing during Autumn Quarter and no decision has yet been made for competition in 2021. 


What about spring sports? Will teams have the opportunity to engage in their non-traditional seasons?

Non-traditional practices will not be permitted in the fall.  However, coaches may provide workout information and conduct virtual team meetings.


Will athletic teams that are not competing continue to function as teams? Will they have coaches?

Our current expectation is that coaches will engage with their teams and student-athletes during the declared playing and practice seasons.


Will fall athletes return to campus early to begin pre-season?

Yes, a phased-in process for the return of fall sports practice has been approved.  Coaches will communicate directly with invited students regarding their arrival dates.


If a student is not invited for fall pre-season, will they be allowed to try out for the team?

Once return-to-campus protocols have been fulfilled, we plan to provide students with an opportunity to try out for fall sports teams.


What will it be like to participate on a team this fall?

Student-athletes will be provided with workout plans and will participate in virtual meetings and smaller group practices. All team activities will follow appropriate health and safety guidelines.


Will locker rooms be available for student use?

We plan to make locker rooms available on a limited basis.


Will teams have access to the strength and conditioning coach?

The strength and conditioning coach intends to hold modified sessions for student-athletes. The schedule will be different from past years to allow for increased sanitation and physical distancing procedures as well as the use of outdoor spaces. Staff will communicate additional safety procedures to student-athletes.


If a student chooses to forego participating in the fall, will this impact their future participation?

Coaches will respect students' decisions, and a decision to forego participating this fall will not impact a student's ability to participate on the team in the future.


Will student-athletes lose a year of eligibility if they participate in fall practices?

Fall sport athletes will not use a season of eligibility under NCAA rules if their team does not compete against another institution during the fall season. Winter sport athletes will not use a season of eligibility if they practice during the Autumn Quarter and their team ends up not competing in Winter Quarter 2021.


When will athletic facilities open?

All facilities remain closed for the summer until further notice. Information on pre-fall season and Autumn Quarter hours and usage policies will be posted on the Athletics & Recreation website as soon as they are determined.


Do student-athletes still need to complete medical clearance information?

Yes, in order to try out for, or participate in, any varsity sport activities at the University of Chicago, every student must complete the required athletic training forms and complete a medical review on campus.

All forms and medical documentation must be turned in to the athletic trainer's office prior to the student being allowed to try out or practice. More information is available on the Athletics & Recreation website.


Will student-athletes have access to Athletic Training services?

Yes, but access and services will be limited and overall volume will be kept to a minimum. Injury evaluation and referral services will continue to be available. Physical distancing, face covering, and hand-washing requirements will be strictly enforced.


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