An empty Schoellkopf Field on March 17, 2020. The Ivy League canceled all spring athletic events on March 11 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Boris Tsang/Sun Photography Editor)

An empty Schoellkopf Field on March 17, 2020. The Ivy League canceled all spring athletic events on March 11 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Boris Tsang/Sun Photography Editor)

September 29, 2020

University Approves One-Hour Weight Training and Conditioning for Athletic Teams in Move to Phase I

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Cornell student-athletes and coaching staff are now permitted to engage in up to one hour of weight training and conditioning per day, a move that aligns with Phase I of the Ivy League’s Fall 2020 Phased Athletics Activity Plan.

In an email to the Cornell community, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi announced the update for athletic teams while also loosening restrictions for club and intramural sports as well as fitness centers and student organizations.

Registered student organizations are now allowed to host small gatherings of 10 or fewer people. Events must be registered in CampusGroups, and attendance must be taken as students “check-in” and “check-out” via CampusGroups.

Club sports can schedule times on Jessup Field for one-on-one or two-on-two noncontact recreational activity. Organized activities such as practices, scrimmages and competition are still prohibited. For recreational activity, students can use Jessup Field, the sand volleyball courts, Alumni Fields and the Kane Sports Complex for one-on-one or two-on-two noncontact activity.

While the other updates went into effect Sept. 29, Noyes and Teagle Hall Fitness Centers will open to students on a limited basis beginning Oct. 5. The Lindseth Climbing Center will open as well.

The announcement comes in the midst of the University’s successful mitigation of COVID-19 on campus. According to Cornell’s COVID-19 Dashboard, only six new positive cases have been detected in the last week, and active cases in Tompkins County have dropped to 16 total cases, as of the most recent update.

“Over the last several weeks, we have demonstrated that, with vigilance and determination, it is possible for a university to have an on-campus student experience in the face of COVID-19,” Lombardi wrote. “We have stepped up to the difficult challenge, modifying our daily lives and remaining focused on the impacts of our collective actions. We still have a long road ahead before we can declare success, but as I’ve said before: I believe in you, and I believe in us.”

Prior to this update, Cornell’s athletic teams were still in Phase 0, in which no in-person physical activities were allowed to take place. Athletes were permitted to meet with coaches in a virtual manner once classes began.

Effective Sept. 29, Cornell athletics has effectively moved into Phase I of the Ivy League’s plan. Student-athletes may engage in a maximum of one hour of weight training and conditioning per day. During this conditioning, participants and coaches must adhere to social distancing of six or more feet while also wearing a face covering. In addition, groups cannot exceed more than 10 students.

With these changes, Lombardi cautioned that access to outdoor athletic facilities may be limited.

While varsity competition is still prohibited for the rest of the fall semester, a move to Phase II may be possible, which would increase the conditioning cap to two hours per day while also allowing in-person meetings.