/COVID-19 challenges Purple and Gold Athletics
Women's volleyball game February 2020. Photo by Kat Bell.

COVID-19 challenges Purple and Gold Athletics

With College Night in season, Gold and Purple Side are looking at ways on how they will practice for the sports season. So far, both Sides have had to adjust due to COVID-19 but are making the most of it.  

Since this year’s College Night production is combined, many who are interested in the competitive aspect of College Night are looking to sports, as both Sides are able to compete like normal.  

This year, each side will participate in sports such as men and women’s volleyball, men’s frisbee and women’s kickball.  

During a normal College Night season, each side partakes in men and women’s basketball. However, due to COVID-19, basketball was removed from the list of sports for College Night because it is considered a close contact sport and is hard for teams to social distance.  

To make up for losing basketball, the Sides decided to add men and women’s volleyball to make up for the lost sport.  

In order to make sure practices and games are safe, there are COVID-19 guidelines and implementations to make sure everyone is safe. At practices, masks are required, and sanitization of equipment happens frequently. The teams also social distance when possible and hand sanitizer is given to everyone.  

To further safety, each side alternates days that Myrick gym is utilized. To alternate days for Gold Side, women’s volleyball and men’s frisbee will practice three days for one week. Then, the next week, men’s volleyball and women’s kickball will practice for three days.  

For Purple Side, men and women’s volleyball will practice three days and men’s frisbee and women’s kickball will practice two days a week.  

For each team on both Sides, there are around 10 to 14 players to ensure that the number was below 15.  

Usually during a College Night season, vast amounts are welcome to cheer on the side of their choice, but this year things will have to look differently. To maintain everyone’s health and safety, limited spectators will be allowed. 

All that the Sides know for now, is that there will be sign-up sheets for those who want to watch, and it will be on first-come, first-serve basis. The number of spectators will also be determined by the total capacity limit for Myrick Gym.  

In a normal College Night season, the cheer team from Purple and Gold help hype up the crowd and root for their side, but only about half of the cheer squad will be able to attend the games.  

The first game for women’s volleyball will be on Feb. 27, additional details will be announced later 

Maggie James, the head of athletics for Purple Side, said, “This will be my third year playing as well as coaching. I am so proud of all my teams this year and I know it will be different for returning players.” 

Even though College Night is different this year, James mentioned that she was still excited to be able to experience the sports aspect of College Night.  

With College Night being so different, James noted that, “We get to experience the new players nerves about the first game but also the returning players eagerness to continue this tradition.”  

“I’m most looking forward to seeing how the teams come together to overcome all of the adversity that COVID-19 brings,” said Catherine Gay, Gold Side’s head of women’s athletics.  

Even with COVID-19 bringing change to the College Night season, both Sides are thankful to be able to participate in sports and bring an aspect of competition to such a long-standing tradition.  

+ posts

Aubrie Chastain is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a first-year political science major with plans to attend law school. She enjoys a good book, coffee and hikes.