Club sports: Back to normal?

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Club sports are experiencing an uptick in sign-ups this semester despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Crew’s Instagram)

Charlie Berman

As the sun sets and the last football or lacrosse players leave Fisher field, athletics at Lafayette does not sleep for the night. The players who follow are not considered Division I athletes, but are still students who truly love the game they play. This is the Lafayette club sports scene in a nutshell, with opportunities from crew to quidditch to skiing.

Since the onset of the pandemic a year and a half ago, the status of club sports has hung precariously in the balance, with no one sure what was going to happen. While a portion of varsity athletes had the support of the athletic department and opportunities to be on campus and compete amidst COVID-19, the light on club sports remained dim.

It is really nice playing without masks. Even though we play outside, we were required to play with masks last spring,” Club Ultimate Frisbee president Allison Paglia ’22 said.

Club sports are experiencing a rebirth this semester as the number of sign-ups for club sports are up almost across the board, despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The sense of normalcy, as Paglia said, is seemingly at the heart of this uptick. With the school originally limiting the number of students who could be at a certain practice, for many sports including varsity, this is the first time that many teams are interacting with everyone on the roster.

Through this unprecedented time, the school has done its best to try and allow the students this normalcy while still trying to maintain a level of control over the spread of the virus. While going off campus and traveling to other schools, students are required to wear masks and take other safety measures.

“We still have to be very cautious running practices, especially with a rising case count on campus. Nonetheless, this semester looks far more promising than the last,” club soccer president Jake Santos ’23 said.

Though this year has been far better, it doesn’t erase the disappointment about how the school handled some club sports last year, athletic teams said. 

The school sort of left us out to dry, especially since our practices were on Friday nights, and even though they were outdoors we still had to wear masks the entire time,” Santos said.

Paglia echoed the sentiment of feeling unsupported by the school.

However, not all club sports are the same, and there will likely be a spectrum in how similar this new iteration of club sports feel in comparison to how they were pre-pandemic. 

For more information on the status and the wide variety of sports offered at Lafayette this semester, visit Lafayette’s club sports website.