Athletics

Spring 2021 General Guidelines for Athletic Teams

The following policies will be in effect for spring athletic teams in alignment with CARES levels. These guidelines may be subject to change in response to new information about best practices or a changing public health landscape.

  • The athletic director will call the opposing college the day before the match and confirm that there are no active COVID cases or symptomatic players on the opposing team. The athletic director of the home team will lead the determination of whether a game will be played. The athletic director of the visiting team may also choose not to compete.
  • The home and visiting athletic directors will review all KJCCC COVID game procedures.* Each team must provide screening documentation for their team. Each player is to be screened on a daily basis and records kept. Players must be screened every day this spring with an online reporting app and a temperature taken before each practice or upon entering a vehicle.
  • Athletes not reporting symptoms risk being removed from the team or fined. (Fines will double with each offense.)
  • ALL KJCCC guidelines will be followed. These include: eliminating handshake lines; limiting contact with opponents and officials; screening all workers at games and officials before entering the game venue; disinfecting locker rooms before and after games; each team providing their own individual-use water bottles; and additional protocols. KJCCC has mandated that no fans will be allowed at athletic events through February 5, 2021, at which time the policy will be re-evaluated.*
  • During games, all players and coaches not actively participating in the game must have masks on.
  • Athletes will be assigned to pods of 4-5 individuals for practice and travel to diminish the number of close contacts.

Travel Protocols for Athletic Teams:

  • KN95 masks must be worn in vans at all times. There is a limit of 10 persons to a van. No meals may be eaten in vans.
  • Teams may not eat in restaurants. They may purchase food by drive-through or pick-up and eat at a local rest area or park. Social distancing rules should be observed.
  • Coaches will limit overnight travel to two essential opponents, in addition to necessary travel for playoffs.
  • Overnight stays will be limited to two nights. Each player must have their own bed.
  • Pods of 4-5 must always sit in adjoining seats. These assigned seats should be observed for the whole trip. Hotel roommates must come from the same pod. Socially-distanced meals should have pod members closest to each other.
  • Teams must have a procedure in place to isolate a player upon return should someone begin showing
    symptoms of COVID.

*A copy of KJCCC protocols have been issued to all coaches and are available to any Hesston College stakeholder who requests it. Email bryank@hesston.edu to request a copy.


Fall season policies

Seasons of Play

  • Lark Athletics will follow the guidelines of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) regarding guidelines for practices and seasons of play.
  • As of a decision made July 10, all sports will be able to practice during the fall semester and compete in the spring semester according to the dates set by NJCAA and KJCCC.
  • No athletic practices will begin before August 17 and the number of scrimmages will be limited according to KJCCC policy.

Screening and Use of Athletic Facilities

  • An Athletic Training Screening Document or app will be created by Athletic Trainer and distributed to coaches to be used before every team activity before using any athletic facilities.
  • Doors to the following facilities shall remain locked and only opened by the essential employees: Yost Center gymnasium, weight room, athletic training clinic, team room, locker rooms, CAC, athletic offices, athletic lobbies.
  • Classes/Practices/Team or individual activities in these spaces will require the coach/teacher to allow students entry with permission to stay only the duration of the planned activity.
  • Individual work-outs may only occur only with a coach present. No student athletes should be given a key to gain entry into athletic facilities.
  • No locker rooms will be used during the fall semester.
  • Equipment that was used during practice should be sanitized after practices by coaches using cleaning products provided by the Campus Facilities department.

Fitness Room use

  • The fitness room will open August 28 and remain open to all students according to the CARES level in which the college is operating.
  • Masks are required in the fitness room and occupancy is limited to 10 people at one time, not including workers.
  • Every other machine or weight racks are to be used and disinfected after each use and regularly by the staff.
  • Students may sign-up for one hour slots using a shared Google doc system.

Travel Guidelines

  • Fall scrimmages are encouraged to be no more than a 30-minute trip from campus.
  • KDHE county numbers will be monitored to determine final travel decisions within the state.
  • When traveling, athletes need to wear masks when in vehicles as social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Coaches will arrange boxed meals through Dining Services or arrange for carry-out food.

Athletic Response to Student Athlete Showing Symptoms of COVID-19

  • If a student athlete exhibits symptoms, they must contact their coach or resident director who will make arrangements for isolation and testing in coordination with the quarantine coordinator.
  • If the coach determines the athlete showing symptoms has been within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer with teammates, those teammates must self-quarantine in their rooms until test results are returned.
  • If a student athlete tests positive, the student will remain in isolation and the health department will conduct contact tracing. The rest of the team may be required to get tested according to local asymptomatic test availability.

Spring Semester Planning

  • During fall semester, the athletic department leadership team will finalize steps of spring season event planning, spectator plans and facility management to prepare for spring season including consideration of live streaming arrangements, restroom facilities, officiating locker room use, etc.
  • Prior to spring semester, acceptable travel distance will be re-evaluated according to KJCCC guidelines and consulting local health authorities.
  • Necessity of overnight travel will be re-evaluated and guidelines for lodging will be revisited at that time.