Athletics

The Caldwell University athletics Department has developed a plan for  phased return to activity for our student-athletes.  The plan is based on recommendations provided by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE: Restart Standards For NJ) which references the “Guidance For Sports Activities” Document written by the New Jersey Department of Health.  We are also in line with guidance provided by both the NCAA Sport Science Institute and the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.  With any contradicting recommendations the more conservative route was taken to help mitigate the risk of infection to our student-athletes. Given the building blocks provided by the CDC, NJ state government, as well as the CACC and the NCAA we were able to create a plan for the resumption of reduced athletic activities.  Regardless of whether the state moves to Stage 3 or remains in Stage 2, the decision to suspend intercollegiate sports competition for the fall semester has already been made by the CACC.

Stage 3:

  • What is the institution’s plan for resumption of athletic programs on campus? 

The plan is to resume limited athletic training  3 weeks after the start of the semester on August 31, 2020. The following 1-2 weeks  will  include virtual educational presentations and  team meetings, and athletes will complete any outstanding requirements prior to the resumption of limited workouts. This plan includes information for staff, policies regarding education and student-athlete return to  campus and the addition of a COVID-19 questionnaire as a part of the physical documentation. This plan includes information for staff, policies regarding education and student-athlete return to campus and the addition of a COVID-19 questionnaire as a part of the physical documentation. Protocols for the athletics building, offices, and field access, emergency action plans, cleaning protocols, athletic training room rules/procedures, and practice/game day procedures are also detailed.  All workouts will be monitored and coaches will be responsible for following  risk mitigating strategies set in the CU Athletics Plan For Return.

In terms of following New Jersey state guidelines, Executive Order No. 149 was issued on May 29, 2020 to allow organized sports to resume on June 22, 2020.  Restrictions were put into place based on the sports level of risk.  On July 8, 2020 Executive Order No. 163 stated that practices and competitions for low risk sports were permitted as well as non-contact practices for medium risk sports. More recently Executive Order No. 168 from July 20, 2020 allowed for the resumption of contact drills, practices, and competitions for high risk sports.  All organized sports are permitted to be played outdoors in the State of New Jersey.

On July 13, 2020 the CACC released a statement postponing all competition during the fall 2020 playing season.  On July 21, 2020 the CACC released plans to allow teams to take part in team activities during the fall semester on their respective campuses.  This document also confirmed that men’s basketball, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball will begin their 2021 seasons in January and men’s and women’s soccer, along with women’s tennis will compete with full conference schedules in March and April.

  • What is the institution’s protocol for mandating frequent screening and testing for coaching staff and student-athletes? 

Daily screenings including symptom assessments as well as temperature checks will be required for both student-athletes and staff.  Any individual who fails a screening will be isolated and referred to the team physician.  All student-athletes who fail a screening will be referred to our team physician for further evaluation.

On July 16, 2020, the NCAA released its  third document: Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition.  This document emphasized the importance of universal masking, smaller workout groups, and distancing.  The importance of testing protocols was also documented with specific guidance for each sports risk category.  Testing protocols were reviewed with Dr. Michael Kelly, our team physician, who has assured us that he has the ability to provide the number  of tests necessary to complete the fall semester activities which will be limited and follow the NCAA guidelines. We have also created an MOU with another provider who will come to campus to be able to test students on campus here. We have also adjusted our phased-in workout schedules to minimize the amount of testing recommended according to the NCAA guidelines. 

  • What are the written protocols for student-athlete and staff orientation/trainings regarding the transmission of COVID-19 and the handling of high-touch items? 

Prior to the student-athletes returning to campus they will receive and be required to review and sign the Caldwell University Athletics Assumption of Risk and Pledge Form. Once on campus, teams will be scheduled for virtual meetings to review the powerpoint of COVID-19 educational information for athletes (transmission, use of high touch Items, protocols for screening) and CU Athletics COVID-19 policy revisions and procedures.  A health assessment will be required prior to clearance for athletics activities.  Each athlete will receive a copy of the policies and procedures.  Athletic Department personnel will review and sign the Caldwell University Athletics Professional Responsibility Statement.  There will be an enhanced virtual orientation program for all athletes reinforcing COVID-19 protocols and education material and this education will continue throughout the semester.  Coaches and Staff will also be required to review the powerpoint of COVID-19 educational information for coaches and staff (transmission, use high touch Items, protocols for screening etc.) and CU Athletics COVID-19 policy revisions and procedures.  Documentation of completion of training will be kept in the athletic office.

  • How will the institution limit equipment-sharing? 

Areas of contact in sports medicine and performance areas  will be wiped down with sanitizer after every use. All equipment and workout gear will be cleaned and disinfected after each use and between workout groups (allow minimum 15 minutes between groups). Benches and other game day equipment will be wiped down after use.  

  • Due to the differences  among sports an individualized plan has been made for each, with restrictions, cleaning, and sanitization procedures.
  • How will the institution ensure team meetings are socially distanced with general safeguarding protocols?

Team meetings will be held virtually whenever possible. If meetings cannot be remote, they must be socially distanced with general safeguarding protocols in place.  These meetings will then take place outdoors whenever possible.

  • What is the institution’s quarantine/isolation protocol for student-athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, come into contact with those who have tested positive, or who have developed symptoms?

Positive cases will be immediately isolated.  The institution’s policy for quarantine and isolation will be followed. If student-athletes live on campus and can return home for the duration of their isolation, they will be asked to do so.  If they cannot return home isolation rooms are available and will be arranged through Residence Life.  Individuals will be monitored daily through Health Services and contact tracing will be initiated by the Bloomfield Board of Health.  Individuals must self isolate for at least 10 days following the onset of symptoms and possibly longer based on how long symptoms last; they must also be three days without fever (without the use of medication). If an individual refuses to get tested after showing signs or symptoms they will be held from athletics for a minimum of 10 days following onset of symptoms and must also be  symptom free for at least three days. Clearance to return to campus must be submitted to Health Services.

  • How will the institution limit nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and media?

No spectators or visitors allowed.  Only essential staff and personnel will be permitted and this policy will be managed by the Director of Athletics.

  • How will student-athletes and athletic staff be educated on policies and protocols prior to arrival on campus?

Student-athletes and staff will receive a copy of the COVID-19 Athletics Plan For Return prior to arrival on campus. Student-Athletes will be required to review and sign the “Caldwell University Athletics Assumption of Risk and Pledge Form.”  Athletic Department Personnel will review and sign the “Caldwell University Athletics Professional Responsibility Statement.” Once on Campus teams will be scheduled for virtual meetings to review the powerpoint of COVID-19 educational information for athletes(transmission, use high touch Items, protocols for screening) and CU Athletics COVID-19 policy revisions and procedures.  An assessment will be required to be completed prior to clearance for athletics activities. 

  • What are the institution’s protocols for traveling for games or hosting teams in competition?

There will be no intercollegiate competition held prior to January 1, 2021.  Once competition is allowed, student-athletes will be screened prior to departure from campus for all away competitions.  The home athletic trainer will be notified of screening completion.  Bus/Van Capacity rules will be followed based on New Jersey  regulations and face coverings will be required while traveling.  Meals while traveling will be by delivery or boxed meals only.

  • How will the institution work with local, state, and conference partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders? If you submitted a plan to your conference, please share as an attachment. 

In accordance with all CDC, state, conference, and NCAA guidance, Caldwell University Athletics feels that we can keep our student-athletes engaged throughout the fall semester in team workouts and, provided testing is still available, limited team practices.  In the framework we have developed for the fall, education and adherence to all risk mitigating strategies are among the department’s utmost concerns in order to safeguard  the physical and mental health of our student-athletes. The Athletics Department will be prepared at any point in time to discontinue athletic activities if necessary.  The Athletics COVID-19 Action Team will continue to review and make changes to its  policy according to what all governing bodies deem appropriate. The university reserves the right to cancel athletic activity at any time deemed necessary.

  • How will the institution work with local, state, and conference partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders? If you submitted a plan to your conference, please share as an attachment. 

Caldwell Athletics will follow all state, local CACC, and NCAA guidelines.  Athletics will work in conjunction with other offices at the University to ensure the safety of all student-athletes and staff. 

Stage 2:

  • What is the institution’s plan for resumption of athletic programs on campus? 

This would be the same as Stage 3. 

  • What is the institution’s protocol for mandating frequent screening and testing for coaching staff and student-athletes?

This would be the same as Stage 3

  • What are the written protocols for student-athlete and staff orientation/trainings regarding the transmission of COVID-19 and the handling of high-touch items?

This would be the same as Stage 3

  • How will the institution limit equipment-sharing? 

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • How will the institution ensure team meetings are socially distanced with general safeguarding protocols?

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • What is the institution’s quarantine/isolation protocol for student-athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, come into contact with those who have tested positive, or who have developed symptoms?

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • How will the institution limit nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and media?

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • How will student-athletes and athletic staff be educated on policies and protocols prior to arrival on campus?

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • What are the institution’s protocols for traveling for games or hosting teams in competition?

This will be the same as Stage 3

  • How will the institution work with local, state, and conference partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders? If you submitted a plan to your conference, please share as an attachment. 

This will be the same as Stage 3

Additional Information? (Optional) If your institution would like to provide additional information about the restart plan or other campus areas not listed above, please include here. This may include, but is not limited to, such items as adjusted academic calendars or plans for extracurricular activities.

Stage 1:

Regardless of whether the state moves to Stage 3 or remains in Stage 2, the decision to suspend intercollegiate sports competition for the fall semester has already been made by the CACC.  In Stage 1 all sports competition will be suspended

  • What is the institution’s plan for resumption of athletic programs on campus? 

There will be no in-person athletic activity in Stage 1.

  • What is the institution’s protocol for mandating frequent screening and testing for coaching staff and student-athletes? 

Screening and testing will not be needed in Stage 1.

  • What are the written protocols for student-athlete and staff orientation/trainings regarding the transmission of COVID-19 and the handling of high-touch items? 

All Stage 2 and 3  training protocols will continue in Stage 1 in preparation for resumption of sports activities.

  • How will the institution limit equipment-sharing? 

There will be no use of equipment.

  • How will the institution ensure team meetings are socially distanced with general safeguarding protocols?

Team meetings will only be held virtually..

  • What is the institution’s quarantine/isolation protocol for student-athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19, come into contact with those who have tested positive, or who have developed symptoms?

Athletes who may be in the residence hall during Stage 1 due to extenuating circumstances, will follow all policies set forth in the On-Campus Residential Housing section of Caldwell’s Restart Plan for Stages 2 and 3. 

  • How will the institution limit nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and media?

There will be no sports activities on campus in Stage 1.

  • How will student-athletes and athletic staff be educated on policies and protocols prior to arrival on campus?

Student-athletes and staff will receive a copy of the COVID-19 Athletics Plan For Return prior to arrival on campus. Student-Athletes will be required to review and sign the “Caldwell University Athletics Assumption of Risk and Pledge Form.”  Athletic Department Personnel will review and sign the “Caldwell University Athletics Professional Responsibility Statement.” Teams will be scheduled for virtual meetings to review the powerpoint of COVID-19 educational information for athletes(transmission, use high touch Items, protocols for screening) and CU Athletics COVID-19 policy revisions and procedures.  An assessment will be required to be completed prior to clearance for athletics activities. This is the same process outlined in Stages 2 and 3 to be done in anticipation of a return to campus and athletic activity.

  • What are the institution’s protocols for traveling for games or hosting teams in competition?

There will be no intercollegiate competition held in Stage 1.

  • How will the institution work with local, state, and conference partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders? If you submitted a plan to your conference, please share as an attachment. 

There will be no athletic activity in Stage 1.