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RecSports returns with added COVID precautions

| Friday, September 18, 2020

Notre Dame RecSports recently announced its plans for intramural sports and other recreational events to take place this fall with added safety precautions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Interhall women’s flag football and men’s three-on-three soccer leagues began Monday, with more sports leagues and events set to begin in the coming weeks.

This fall’s RecSports programming will be designed to allow student participation while also ensuring their health and safety. Masks must be worn at all times by all event participants and staff regardless of physical distance during activities. Team roster sizes will be limited depending on square footage of playing areas, the ability of participants to physically distance and the capabilities of facilities to provide proper physical distancing between individual games. Equipment will be cleaned with disinfectant before, during and after play, and rosters will be strictly adhered to for contact tracing purposes with no additions permitted at game sites. Additionally, participants will be encouraged not to share any personal equipment, and pinnies will not be provided for teams to distinguish from one another.

“RecSports continues to work with University officials to ensure that the leagues and tournaments we offer are conducted with the highest regard to safety,” RecSports director Mark Williams said in an email. “We understand that these are very challenging times for all of us and especially our students, and we spent the summer months working to develop programming that adheres to University standards.”

There are a total of 11 intramural leagues and tournaments set to take place this year, with additional programming added for weekends. All three recreational facilities on Notre Dame’s campus, including the Smith Center, Rockne Memorial and North Dome, have reopened as of Monday. RecSports is also offering both in-person and virtual fitness classes and is currently coordinating practices for club sports.

Williams spoke to the importance of getting students back to participating in recreational activities amid the pandemic.

“We recognize that our students are very active and how vital safe recreational sports and fitness are to them,” he said. “RecSports will continue to work to provide our students with opportunities to play and engage in safe recreational sports and fitness activities.”

Some students, like junior Jacob Messineo, are also excited to be participating in RecSports events this year. Messineo, who serves as the RecSports commissioner for Dunne Hall, said he is glad there will be intramural sports this year.

“I’ve been doing my best to promote all of the new programming to students in Dunne, and kids seem to be receptive to all of the safety protocols,” Messineo said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to playing sports with friends, and I plan to make a team for the three-on-three soccer tournament.”

Messineo said he hopes students continue to follow the new safety guidelines throughout the fall season.

“I think RecSports has done a great job of trying to keep people safe this year,” he said. “I hope that the season can finish without anyone breaking the guidelines.”

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