ANALYSIS: Contextualizing Yale’s Indoor Winter Sports Policy

Indoor sports venues will open at 75% capacity for fully vaccinated people, among other guidelines released by Yale Athletics last month.


Elifnaz Onder, Production and Design Writer

With winter sports underway, fans looking to support Blue and White should join Yale Athletics’ Indoor Winter Sports Policy, which describes attendance protocols in place in accordance with the University’s broader COVID-19 guidelines.

The guidelines, which came into effect on October 14, outline how attendance will be enforced at Brady Squash Courts, Coxe Cage, Kiphuth Show Pool, Ingalls Rink and John J. Lee Amphitheater. . All sites will be open at 75 percent capacity exclusively to fully immunized people. Masks are mandatory at all times, and eating outside is not allowed, and none of the sites will sell concessions. The policy, like all Covid-19 policies on campus, was put in place by the COVID Review Team, or CRT, and the office of the university’s COVID-19 Coordinator, Stephanie Spangler, according to the Yale’s associate athletic director for strategic communications, Mike Gambardella.

“As public conditions and guidelines evolve, the university and CRT will work with units and schools to change their health and safety plans and event guidelines,” Spangler wrote. in an email to News.

Current guidelines also state that children aged 11 and under are not permitted to attend indoor sporting events.

The policy for indoor winter sports is a marked change from the fall. While fans attending fall volleyball games at the Lee Amphitheater still had to be vaccinated, there was no limit to the number of fans who could attend the fall spectator policies. Spangler did not comment on why there was no capacity limit in the fall, or how capacity limits would be enforced at winter sporting events.

Albert Ko, professor of public health and epidemiology noted that there are no state or federal guidelines or recommendations regarding indoor capacity limits at this time.

“My personal opinion is that I think it makes sense to space people out, especially in those indoor environments where people are screaming and so on,” Ko said. “Now the question is, why 75%? Why not 70% or why not 73 or why not 80? I’ll leave that to people who know the layout of gyms and what that gives people space to do.

As each Ivy League institution is responsible for developing its own guidelines, there is no uniform participation policy in the Ancient Eight.

Cornell University has opened all winter sports venues to 50 percent capacity with the exception of their men’s hockey and wrestling teams, which will use a “COVID checkpoint” to monitor attendance.

The Levien Gymnasium, home of Columbia’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, will be open to 70 percent capacity. The Lions swim and diving teams will invite guests to the Percy Uris Natatorium via a list of reserved passes.

TO Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, fans must be vaccinated, but there is no capacity limit at indoor winter sports venues. Harvard University also has no capacity limit and will accept a negative Covid-19 PCR test which is administered within 72 hours before the event in lieu of proof of vaccination.

Brown University and Dartmouth College did not have publicly accessible winter sports participation policies. Sports department officials at both schools did not respond to requests for clarification in time for publication.

Currently, Yale is the only Ivy League member to issue guidelines prohibiting children 11 and under from attending winter sporting events. Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Penn and Princeton will all allow children to attend sporting events without proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 PCR test. Children attending events at these locations should wear a mask indoors.

Princeton’s guidelines say their indoor presence policy “will be reviewed once children ages 5 to 11 have had a chance to be fully immunized.”

On November 9, the Yale men’s basketball team defeated Division III Vassar College 88-42 in the Bulldogs’ first game at Lee Amphitheater since February 2020. Even with an audience capacity limited to 75 percent, Head coach James Jones has expressed his excitement at the prospect of reuniting with the fans. in the stands.

“I think when we welcome students here and the energy they bring, it’s great,” Jones said after the home opener. “Whether it’s 25% capacity, 500 people or 100 people, it’s always good energy from our students. We had a great crowd tonight for our first non-Division I game, so I was happy with that.

The John J. Lee Amphitheater hosted 1,468 people at the Vassar Game, representing 52% of a maximum capacity of 2,800.

Aislinn Kinsella, William McCormack and Olivia Tucker contributed reporting.


James Richardson is a sports administration journalist. He previously covered men’s basketball and squash. Originally from South Florida, he is in his second year at Jonathan Edwards specializing in East Asian studies and ethics, politics and economics.

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