RWU Athletics is hopeful for return of spring competition


Courtesy of RWU Athletics

Members of the RWU Men’s Track and Field Team running through campus wearing masks.

Megan Julian, Sports Editor

Preparation for the 2021 spring sports season is underway, according to Roger Williams University Athletic Director Kiki Jacobs.

“We are a go right now. We are hopeful we can pull off the season,” Jacobs said.

Practices for spring sports began on Monday, Feb. 8. Taking Jacobs’ input into consideration, President Ioannis Miaoulis and the university cabinet will have the final say on whether or not spring competition will occur.

The planned start date of spring sports competition is March 27.

If competitions resume, teams may have to follow some new COVID guidelines in order to compete. There may be a requirement for all athletes to wear masks during competition.

“Right now, it would be a challenge to play indoor competitions safely. We have to be concerned about the entire campus community when having outside competition. We don’t want to introduce the virus into the campus community from a contest,” Jacobs said. “Our goal as a university is to stay in person all semester. We don’t want to go remote like other schools have recently done.”

Jacobs acknowledges the possible challenges athletics could face but she and other Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) athletic directors are looking into some testing protocols that could be implemented if the season starts in late March. This possibility is keeping Jacobs hopeful in terms of spring competition.

“We want to set a baseline testing protocol that all schools follow. At this point in time, RWU is committed to twice per week testing as are some of the other CCC schools. It is our hope that all CCC schools will test a minimum of twice per week in order to play,” Jacobs said.

There are not a specific number of games scheduled yet due to the shortened semester. Having no spring break is also making it challenging to reach the full number of contests for each sport.

Joyce Maudie, Head Coach of the Women’s Softball Team, said the hardest part about this whole process has been the loss of this past 2020 season and the unknowns surrounding this season.

“Many of our team members need the game for varied reasons. It brings joy, balance, camaraderie, normalcy,” Maudie said. “We are hopeful to have as much of a season as possible.”

She said the softball team began team practices in the fall, which ended on Nov. 13. As of now, her players have been training on their own or with teammates that live near them.

According to Maudie, the team took a much-needed break from Zoom.

“We had been zooming since March of 2020 and throughout the summer. We spent the fall practicing and we treated this break (Thanksgiving through late January) like summer vacation and connected on a personal level but stayed away from team zoom sessions. Now we are back and ready to prepare for our season,” Maudie said.

The team’s main goals during the past year included providing a support network for each other, cherishing the moments they have together and winning some games when they get to compete again.