UW-W Athletics adapts for 2021 seasons ahead


Evan Halpop

Oren Henderson-Zintz (left), Carl Wesley Jr. (center) and Nick Andersen sprint side-by-side while competing in an intrasquad track & field meet inside the Kachel Fieldhouse on Saturday Jan. 23.

Nay Salter, Assistant Sports Editor

Student athletes at UW-Whitewater are ready to get back in action. Whether a teammate in Intercollegiate Athletics, a member of Club Sports or an Intramural Sports player – all athletes and fans need to know about some important changes happening this spring semester that will enable play.
Each sport is reviewed to determine which ones are safe to play. The sports are placed into categories based on risk and the NCAA “Socialization of Sport” document, which is then reviewed by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Decisions include if a season is allowed at all or if the sport can host home games and travel.
Many teams will be able to have a season as long as they follow some simple rules and guidelines.
“We must follow NCAA guidelines regarding testing, which varies depending on sport risk, a daily symptom screener, daily temperature checks, socially distancing when able, and following the WIAC policies regarding COVID-19,” said Director of Sports Medicine Steven Hilmer.
Currently, teams that are allowed to have a season are also allowed to host home games. Home games this semester are also going to look a bit different because no fans are allowed on the benches or in the bleachers. Besides athletes, only essential staff are allowed, including referees, timers and officials, among others.
And while Warhawks may not be able to watch their favorite teams compete in person, they will be able to watch through the campus television station and streaming online.
“In partnership with UWW-TV, we plan to stream all of our home events live so our fans can watch our student-athletes compete. The atmosphere will not be the same with only team personnel and essential staff in our competition spaces, but this gives our parents, alumni and fans the opportunity to watch.” said Assistant Athletic Director Chris Lendeke.
UWW-TV is channel 100.1 on the UW-W campus, channel 989 through Spectrum Digital in the community and online at www.uwwtv.org. While only a portion of sporting events will be shown through UWW-TV, the remaining events will be streamed on www.uwwsports.com.
The plan is to give fans and athletes a season that is as close to normal as possible while still staying safe.
“Travel restrictions and policies are being developed on a sport-by-sport basis for clubs with the EOC,” said Assistant Director of Intramural and Club Sports Matt Schneider.
Whether that travel be for just away games or also for training camps – the specifics are still in the making.
But while the details get ironed out, student athletes and fans alike can look forward to a lot of action in sports for 2021.

Seen through rows of track hurdles, Jack McGinn prepares to compete during an intrasquad track & field meet inside the Kachel Fieldhouse on Saturday Jan. 23. (Evan Halpop)