Saturday, May 2, 2020

NCAA Cites Core Principles for Resuming Practice and Competition; USTA Midwest Announces College Info Month Webinars; Timeline for USTA Decisions on Clay Courts and Hard Courts; Junior College All-Americans Named

NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline has provided roadmap for  what needs to happen to ensure a safe return to collegiate athletic competition while the global Covid-19 pandemic continues. This is a lengthy and detailed document, and with states and regions in different circumstances, it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are benchmarks that colleges and universities can use to gauge their readiness. There are nine core principals presented, with this paragraph introducing them:
The core principles outlined below are offered as a premise for resuming practice and competition at the collegiate level. They are meant to be consistent with the federal guidelines and otherwise reflective of the best available scientific and medical information available at the time. These core principles are intended as resources for member schools to use in coordination with the federal guidelines and related institutional and local governmental decision-making, all of which remain subject to further revision as available data and information in this space continues to emerge and evolve.
For the complete document, with the nine principles and three phases, see ncaa.org.

The USTA Midwest Section has declared May College Info Month and has several webinars scheduled to assist parents and prospective student-athletes with the process. The first, set for Friday May 8, will feature panelists Claire Pollard of women's head coach at Northwestern and Brad Dancer, men's head coach at Illinois. Moderators are Midwest Collegiate Committee chair Timon Corwin and USTA Midwest COO of Community Tennis, Chad Docktor. Webinars are also scheduled for May 15th and May 29th, with the 29th's topic NCAA Rules, Regulations and Requirements for Eligibility, with Lorne McManile, Coordinator of Academic Review, NCAA Eligibility Center the featured speaker. To register for any of the webinars, go to this USTA Midwest page.

The status of this summer's two major USTA events, the National Clay Courts in July and the National Hard Courts in August, has been the subject of a lot of speculation lately and I don't have anything definitive to offer myself, but I did find a post on the USTA Northern section's website that offered a timeline for the decision.
The above is a good synopsis of the current state of the USTA tournaments, but each section will be making their own decisions on their sectional events, and as I've mentioned, Mountain West, Northern Cal, Texas(new) and Midwest have already postponed or canceled their summer closed sectionals. I had also missed that all National Level 1, 2, and 3 tournaments are following the calendar of the ATP/WTA/ITF, which has a July 12th start. The only USTA national tournaments that were canceled that hadn't already been explicitly mentioned are the National Level 2s in June.

The ITA announced the All-American teams for the National Junior College Athletic Association, with 10 singles players and five doubles teams receiving the honor. Often several of these players end up competing for Division I programs. Tyler Junior College earned seven spots for its women and four for its men this year.


Thought I would share said...

I belong to a private club that has stayed open for play during the entire pandemic.
Here’s an example of tennis at our 20 court facility, located in the south which is warm. First off, the “separate tennis balls” idea lasted a few days and then discarded. Basically everyone plays with the same balls. It’s nice in theory, but I’d be interested to hear others experiences. There are no cups, towels or any items that can be shared. Court gates are tied open, so you don’t have to touch anything to enter. For the first week of recommended precautions, benches would be wiped clean after play, though that doesn’t happen anymore either

Our courts have been almost as crowded as at any time. There are all ages playing. Pros are able to teach and earn money. For lessons, only the pros feed and pick up the balls. It’s been roughly 7-8 weeks since things changed. Our facility fortunately has not experienced a single problem. This is just one area of the country and maybe an outlier. Obviously there are serious issues playing tennis where there are large outbreaks. Fortunately, I live in an area in the South where there has not been a “surge” and many have been able to play tennis in warm weather throughout this pandemic. I pray that will not change in the coming months. Fwiw: all local hospitals are operating normally, with about half their beds empty and plenty of PPE. Hopefully, many of you can get back out on the courts this summer, while taking precautions.

Alex Ho said...

Just a quick question, how do you know all of the local hospitals are operating normally? Do you work in a local hospital? You are checking the shelves for N95 masks which are short everywhere in the US? I work at a hospital, and zero hospitals are operating normally, even if hospitals don't have covide cases they on alert and not doing the elective cases that keep them functioning financially.

By disregarding shelter in place your club is putting the entire community at risk, you do realize that people can be carriers and have no symptoms but can pass the virus along to people that can die?

Good to know your club can be normal business during a world wide pandemic.

Thought I would share said...

Alex, a handful of Doctors of various specialties are members and have told me as much, relaying info from the Hospital system. Plus, the heads of different hospital systems held a press conference to announce their re-opening procedures. These hospitals have been re-opening in stages in recent weeks. For the past two months, most Drs treated emergency cases only, which meant very little The hospitals said as long as there remained a leveling off of the virus, numerous hospital beds and plenty of PPE, they would attempt to increase services to more normal levels.

Different parts of the country have different levels of shelter in place. There are only 2 people to a court, no mass gatherings/interactions. You have more interaction/proximity with others at Costco or Trader Joe’s. Our club is far from the only club where there is tennis. Maybe you are right and we have put others at risk. Perhaps our surge is coming. I just thought I would pass along that, with precautions, there has been tennis and no known transmissions...so far. That certainly doesn’t mean there won’t be and we could be making a mistake. We learn more about this virus everyday. I’ll let you know if anything changes.