With the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, most fall sports have been delayed to the spring semester. The USA South conference recently pushed back the start of the basketball season until the beginning of the spring semester. The conference also postponed conference play for fall sports until the spring semester. With all of these delays, schools like Piedmont will face a new challenge: multiple teams using the same field.
“It will be a challenge, but from the President down, we are all committed to finding a way for all student athletes to have the best quality experience that we can provide,” said Athletic Director Jim Peeples.
Spring sports are scheduled to begin as they normally do. The challenge that Piedmont will have is making sure there are no schedule issues or conflicting game times. Certain sports probably will not have anything to worry about, like baseball or cross country, as they do not share their field with anyone. However, there could be conflicts in the Mize Gym with volleyball and both men’s and women’s basketball. There could also be conflicts with men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer. All four teams would all be using the same field to compete throughout the entire spring.
Another issue that will have to be worked around are the complications surrounding other schools in the conference. Their decisions will be made for their student athletes, which could be different from the way Piedmont is handling their student athletes.
“There are some schools that are trying to pigeon-hole fall sports into certain sections of the spring,” Peeples said. “My personal thoughts are that we should use the entire spring so that we have many different dates to work with for all sports.”
As the USA South conference works to develop a plan for all these sports to compete, there is speculation from different athletes that they may not even be able to compete in the spring.
“At this point, with the way things are moving along, I don’t really know if we will even have a season at all,” said senior basketball player, Mikey Joseph. “I believe we could have started on time, but we will see what decisions are made after this semester is over.”
With many different schools on different time-tables and having different concerns, the spring athletic season could be something we have never seen before. The season could turn out to be a huge success or go down in flames. With the right protocols in place and the right scheduling, Piedmont is hoping to give every student athlete a chance to compete for the 2020-2021 school year.