The following was sent via email to all Upper School families by Director of Athletics Chris Hartley on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.
First and foremost, I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. Second, I want to acknowledge that the disruption in the world of athletics is a painful one. I often reflect on what I would be thinking and feeling if this had happened to me when I was in high school. Sports were where I was most happy. So, I understand that this disruption is difficult and frustrating. My hope is that with solid planning and attention to safety, we can get our athletes back together, learning, growing, and succeeding together.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is the governing body for high school athletics. On its website, their leaders have posted several resources in response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to visit THIS PAGE to access guidelines (green bar at the upper right corner of the page) and to better understand how each sport will be impacted (right side of the page).
As you review what the WIAA has planned and read the contents of this email, please note that program heads and head coaches will be emailing athletes and families with specific details about the sport that they lead. Look for the first of these emails by the end of the month.
WHAT IF MY SPORT IS NOT GOVERNED BY THE WIAA?
Boys & Girls Crew, Boys & Girls Lacrosse, and Boys & Girls Ultimate Frisbee are not WIAA sports.
The organizing bodies for lacrosse and Ultimate have stated that they will follow the same seasons and practice rules outlined by the WIAA (more information below).
The crew program will begin in-person practices when the county is in Phase 3 (see Lakeside practice protocol below).
The WIAA sets start and end dates for the sports seasons and sets the rules for practice and competition. They have changed the competition calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Please visit THIS PAGE to see that calendar.
Our first potential competitive season will be the traditional winter sports (basketball, boys swim & dive, and wrestling) and is set to begin on December 28; this aligns with the WIAA's Season 2. The next season (WIAA's Season 3), beginning in late February, features the traditional fall sports. The final season which runs until late June will be the traditional spring season. This is the WIAA's Season 4.
When you look at the sports seasons in the attached document at the bottom of this email, you will notice an "Open Season" which runs from September 28 until November 28. The WIAA has created this season to mirror what the summer months typically allow. All teams are allowed to hold practices during this time as long as the county is in Phase 3. Per the WIAA rules, no teams are allowed to have practices before this date.
LAKESIDE PRACTICE PROTOCOL:
To ensure that practices are conducted with the goal of minimizing the transmission of COVID-19, they will be structured as follows...
- If the school is in the hybrid model, only students who are on campus for classes can participate in those practices. For instance, when juniors and seniors are on campus for classes, only juniors and seniors can participate in in-person practices. During this week, freshmen and sophomores will interact with the team remotely.
- All athletes will be placed in pods of no more than ten. Once a student is put in a pod, that student must remain in that pod or quarantine for two weeks before moving to a different pod.
- All coaches will wear masks at all times and will always be at least six feet from all athletes.
- All practices will require all athletes to remain six feet from teammates and coaches.
- When doing physical work, athletes will not be required to wear masks.
- Any equipment that is shared (balls, for example) will be disinfected regularly.
The school will continue to review guidelines and follow the scientific experts. With a significant changes in cases or new medical breakthroughs, this protocol might shift and allow for practices with more participants or without the six-foot restriction.
We want our athletes to practice and benefit from being with teammates and learning from coaches. We have put these protocols in place to minimize the transmission of droplets with the goal of keeping the campus open for in-person classes and training as long as possible.
WHAT IF I AM A MULTI-SPORT LAKESIDE ATHLETE?
Assuming that we can hold in-person practices during the Open Season, multi-sport athletes will only be able to practice in-person with one team. While we recognize that this will be frustrating, this aligns with the overall goal of limiting transmission possibilities. Please note that program heads and head coaches will continue to communicate with everyone on their rosters and that multi-sport athletes can participate in all virtual activities run by coaches and team leaders.
TRAINING ROOM, WEIGHT ROOM, AND CARDIO ROOM:
Though our training room will be closed while we are fully remote, our athletic trainers are available for any athletes who are injured or become injured. Please send an email to Antonio Gudiño, head athletic trainer if you would like to get some advice or talk through an issue. We have a new assistant athletic trainer who will begin this fall. Her name is Paige Platman, and we will send a more formal introduction of her in a future communication.
At this time, even in our hybrid model, the weight and cardio rooms will not be available to athletes. The current requirements laid out by the state significantly limit the number of people that can be in those spaces making it impractical to open those spaces.
Athletes will be able to continue with their fitness and weight training workouts remotely. All athletes have been given access to an online fitness training tool. We will be using PLT4M to give athletes workouts during the year. Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Rick Huegli is supervising this program and will be sending workouts to athletes. Using PLT4M, athletes can report their workouts and track their progress as coaches receive updates on those workouts. There are thorough explanations of each exercise accompanied by videos that show how to do the exercises. None of the exercises require any special equipment.
INTERESTED IN COLLEGIATE ATHLETICS?
The loss of the spring season, summer training, and a normal fall season mean that many of our athletes who want to compete in intercollegiate athletics are facing some challenges never encountered before. Though this challenge is not unique to Lakeside athletes, it is important for this office and Lakeside coaches to offer all the support that we can. The athletics department is in close communication with the college counseling office. We are closely monitoring information coming from collegiate athletics departments and admissions offices.
Lakeside Athletics is in the process of creating workshops for athletes who have been impacted by the lack of competition and traditional practices. These workshops, offered early in the fall will cover the following:
- Athletes will learn how to promote themselves through social media.
- Athletes will partner with their Lakeside coaches to create film that shows various skills that can be sent to college coaches.
- Lakeside coaches will work with individual athletes to develop plans and to help get materials to coaches.
There will be more information in the weeks ahead to help guide athletes through this process.
LOST & FOUND, SPRING UNIFORMS, AND APPAREL:
For those of you who played a Lakeside sport last spring, we want our stuff back and want you to pick up your stuff. However, we will wait until we are in the hybrid model to make those exchanges. When we have students back on campus, there will be times to drop off uniforms and equipment, pick up items from the locker rooms, pick up player-keep apparel, and look through the hundreds of items in lost & found.
This is a lot to absorb. Know that there will be more information coming from the athletics office. And, more importantly, your coaches will be in close contact throughout the year.
Head coaches and program heads are creating plans to keep athletes connected when we are remote or not able to practice in person. They are focused on minimizing online meetings because they recognize how much screen time is required during the academic day.
If you have questions, want to share an idea, or get more clarification on anything related to athletics, please contact your head coach, program head, or Chris Hartley, director of athletics, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Lakeside Athletics on Twitter at @LakesideLions.