Club sports start up again

Gabriel Strasbaugh

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Reporter

Club sports provide opportunities for students to not only participate in events together, but to create their own matchups and schedules. Each club is student run allowing them to develop leadership and team skills. Just as other parts of life on campus, COVID-19 restrictions have been forced upon each sport and shut down their ability to play with other universities. 

The head of the clubs are sticking as close as possible to the same format the athletic department put in place. Some sports are held in different content. If the club is an outside event, the players are allowed to be in pods of five and stay six feet apart. Despite being outside, the players are still required to mask up. 

Volleyball for example involves players touching the ball by passing and hitting back and forth to one another. This requires each ball to be sanitized prior to being used and being immediately discarded when finished.  

Coordinator of Club Sports Samantha Wary, says the challenge has been keeping students interested in participating. 

“So currently we have 19 sport clubs that fall underneath us and as of this week we have nine who are actually actively either meeting or practicing in person,” Wary said. 

Part of the decline in numbers ties to the large portion of students not returning to campus for safety reasons. Zoom meetings are being utilized to keep students active in their clubs without having to be present. 

“It’s our information sessions so that we actually set up a zoom meeting for every team,” Wary said. “We did get a lot of first year students coming into those information meetings and a lot of them were saying I’m not on campus, so I appreciated that they were still taking the time to find out how to get involved.”

President of the Soccer Club Lucas Maghirang said one of the hardest parts about the restrictions is the lack of competition with other teams. 

“We were setting up our own league to run independently for the first time which would have been a trial run to separate ourselves from a California based league we run through,” Maghirang said. “We would avoid a large amount of dues owed every quarter. COVID screwed that all up.”

 Senior and Soccer Club Member Ryan Fey believes there needs to be more open lines of communication between the university and Wary. 

“There’s no communication,” Fey said.

“She has to go and ask, rather than just being told what we can and can’t do,” Fey said. Worries about the club surviving COVID are a part of why Maghirnag and Fey are so persistent to play sooner rather than later. 

“If we didn’t have a couple people, it would die with Lucas and I at the end of this year,” Fey said. “Just from people not putting in the effort. Lucas puts in more effort than anyone. It would be sad to see it die.”

With President Guadino announcing online classes for the remainder of the academic year, the question of how soon the club restrictions will be lifted presents itself. For now, students are still able participate in-person and remotely from home.