SCIAC teams’ mid-COVID comeback means no in-person spectators

In+accordance+with+SCIAC%27s+prohibition+of+in-person+spectators+this+season%2C+the+bleachers+are+empty+and+some+sports+personnel+are+seen+standing+outside+of+the+exterior+fencing+around+the+tennis+courts+at+Cal+Lutheran+during+a+doubles+match+on+Feb.+27.+Most+Cal+Lutheran+competitions+are+available+via+live+stream+on+CLUSports.com.

Photo by Isabella Breda - Editor in Chief

In accordance with SCIAC’s prohibition of in-person spectators this season, the bleachers are empty and some sports personnel are seen standing outside of the exterior fencing around the tennis courts at Cal Lutheran during a doubles match on Feb. 27. Most Cal Lutheran competitions are available via live stream on CLUSports.com.

Mollie Haughawout , Reporter

For this spring season in sports, California Lutheran University teams are allowed to compete but are not allowed to have in-person spectators.

Current senior and first baseman for the Kingsmen Baseball team Zach Bullard said in a phone interview that he is just happy to have a season after it was abruptly cancelled about a year ago.

“Personally, I think we are just pretty thankful to be playing at all and being able to be out on the field,” Bullard said. “It’s been so long that we haven’t been able to get together.”

Despite the lack of in-person spectators, live streams for most Cal Lutheran competitions are available on CLU Sports so fans can watch from home.

The health and safety protocols–including the exclusion of spectators at all Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competitions–go through a chain of command from the state level to the county level and then to the institutional level. Cal Lutheran must follow those commands as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and SCIAC regulations in order to move forward with games, meets and matches this season.

Dan Kuntz, athletics director at Cal Lutheran, said in a phone interview that in the last few weeks they were able to start the process of bringing teams back for games and practices.

“We have just in the last probably two weeks after the clearances, after all of the students went through a number of clearances to make sure they were okay, we started the process back,” Kuntz said.

Wearing masks, daily health checks, surveillance testing and social distancing are just a few of the guidelines the athletes have to follow to make sure they are in compliance with the safety protocols.

“You’ll see sort of several teams out now and about,” Kuntz said. “But they’ll be wearing masks, and follow a whole list of things that are required for them to add practices for them to be handled right.”