Play Ball! … Well, maybe?


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Madison Bollman, Assistant Editor

Athletics: one of America’s favorite past times. It brings families and friends together to cheer on their favorite team and athlete. It brings waves of emotions – from excitement to anxiety – and of course, healthy competition. But those things were put on hold in March 2020 when COVID-19 put the whole world on pause. Student-athletes, coaches and fans had their seasons cut short. It has been roughly five months since then; new school year, new season – so will players hit the field or court again?

“All sports except for eSports (competitive video gaming) have been pushed back to the spring semester by the National Junior College Athletic Association,” said Ron Riggle, LLCC athletic director, and baseball coach.

“The fall semester will be used as a practice season with limited competition.  If things go according to plan, and sports do resume in the spring, there are safety precautions set and approved by the Sangamon County Department of Public Health for both student-athletes and their coaches to follow,” he said.

“All athletes and coaches will be required to fill out a daily symptom check and health assessment. There will also be temperature checks each day,” Riggle said.

Student-athletes at LLCC are from many different places, some even being international students. Riggle said students will not need to worry about scholarships being affected by these circumstances, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, international students will not be traveling to the United States.

Many areas across the United States are considered a COVID-19 “hotspot”, or an area that has a rise in COVID-19 confirmed cases.

Read the interview with Ron Riggle

When it comes to sports, traveling is involved in games and events traveling from LLCC and other colleges. “To ensure coach and player safety,” Riggle said, “there will be traveling restrictions and no overnight travel.”

“The college will be looking at all the places we are traveling to, as well as who is coming to us,” Riggle said. “If they are from a hotspot, then we will not play”.

It seems Lincoln Land is going the lengths to get the ball moving again with sports in the spring. We all need to do our part to assist off the field or court: wear a mask, practice standard hygiene, and continue social distancing.