Athletics COVID-19 Policies and Updates

Below is a list of important information related to athletics and COVID-19 at Friends University:

Important COVID-19 Updates

Aug. 6, 2020 Athletics Safety Guidelines and Policies Update

 Coaches and Student-Athletes, 

We will welcome fall athletes to campus in one week. We are excited to begin the new year and to have students back on campus. The purpose of this letter is to give an update of the recent NAIA and KCAC decisions and to inform you of institutional policies that will need to be followed to have a successful return to play. 

We want to reiterate that we understand individuals have different levels of comfort with returning to school and participating in athletics. Any student-athlete that wishes to opt out of competition due to health concerns but wants to remain a student at Friends University will be allowed to retain their athletic scholarship. 

Last week, the NAIA announced that all fall sports championships are moved to the spring. They are allowing conferences to have autonomy determining schedules for the fall. Currently, the KCAC Board of Presidents has asked our KCAC COVID Task Force to present options of playing a normal schedule in the fall and splitting the schedule between the fall and spring. We anticipate a decision being made within the next week. 

Internally, we have developed numerous policies and protocols to develop as safe an environment as possible. All Friends University updates can be found at www.friends.edu/coronavirus

Within athletics, we will be following all policies and procedures that are required of us. This includes, but is not limited to, city, county, state, KCAC, NAIA, and Friends University policies. The KCAC has released return to play protocols that were developed by the KCAC COVID Task Force in partnership with the KCAC Athletic Trainers. They have approval by the KCAC Board of Presidents and can be found at: 

https://www.kcacsports.com/d/2020-21/KCAC_2020_COVID_Return_to_Competition_Guidelines.pdf

Within athletics, there are six basic guidelines that must be followed for us to have a successful year. They are as follows: 

  1. Complete the Athletic Training Software Symptom Checker every day beginning no later than August 7, 2020.
  2. Masks are required on campus and in the Garvey Building.
  3. Maintain social distancing whenever possible.
  4. Wear masks until practice starts. There may be times during practice when masks are appropriate.
  5. Enhanced cleaning protocols will continue.
  6. Athletics will follow all Friends University, federal, state of Kansas, Sedgwick County, KCAC, and NAIA guidelines. www.friendsathletics.com 2100 West University Avenue Wichita, KS 67213 (316) 295-5700 Fax (316) 295-5030 

Completing the daily symptom checker is essential to having a successful fall. It will be done through the Athletic Training Software. Coaches and our Athletic Training Staff have sent out information on how to sign up. All student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff should begin recording daily symptom checks no later than Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Failure to begin completing the symptom checker by this date may result in not being allowed to practice. 

In the event of a report of a positive test, we will follow guidelines provided by Friends University, the state of Kansas, Sedgwick County, and the KCAC. If these guidelines conflict, we will follow whatever guidelines are the strictest. Friends University is also providing a telehealth service to students with the cost covered by the University. 

At this point, we are planning on having fans at games, but it will likely be limited due to county guidelines. However, we are not going to make an official decision yet as games do not start for another month and things can change. 

During your first team meeting and new student-athlete orientation, we will have COVID educational sessions to discuss these policies in more depth. It will take all of us being accountable to one another and these policies to have a successful year. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Rob Ramseyer
Athletic Director
Friends University 

July 31, 2020 KCAC Fall 2020 Guidelines for Return to Campus, Sport and Conference Competition

KCAC has released a set of guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 and fall sporting competition. You can view the guidelines using the PDF below:

https://www.kcacsports.com/d/2020-21/KCAC_2020_COVID_Return_to_Competition_Guidelines.pdf

July 24, 2020 Friends Athletic COVID-19 Update

Coaches and Student-Athletes:

As we continue to see schools and conferences make different decisions regarding fall sports, I wanted to send this update to you about where we are as of today. As fluid as the situation is, I can’t guarantee that it will stay the same, but I want to continue to give as much information as possible.

I am part of the KCAC Conference COVID Task Force that is charged with planning return to play. We have been meeting weekly since the end of April. This group, in partnership with the KCAC Athletic Trainers, has developed guidelines for safely returning to campus. These guidelines will likely be released to the public next week. We also plan to post additional athletic department policies at that time. In addition, the NAIA has released a document of requirements and guidelines that includes requiring COVID testing for all student- athletes seven days prior to competition. You can find the NAIA document at:

https://www.naia.org/covid19/files/Fall_2020_Guidelines_7.10.20_v2.pdf

As a University, we have been working hard preparing for the fall as well. Our decisions are being guided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Kansas Department of Health (KDHE), and the work of several task forces on campus. We have an Athletic COVID Task Force working together to ensure all policies and procedures are followed and we provide the safest environment possible for student-athletes. We will require daily screenings for student-athletes, we will test all student-athletes as required by the NAIA, and then test on an as-needed basis. Outside of the KCAC and NAIA documents, below are links of institutional decisions, KDHE, and CDC resources that we are utilizing:

The question I receive most often is if we are going to play. Our plan is to play as allowed within the KCAC, NAIA, and governmental regulations. We will be ready administratively, and our coaches are ready to get to work coaching, training, and mentoring student-athletes. However, we are preparing for any changes that may occur. We are working on multiple levels of contingency plans as a conference so that we can allow our student-athletes to compete this year.

We are committed to providing the safest environment possible for our student-athletes and coaches. This is a unique situation we are in and we appreciate your dedication and patience as we navigate through the fall athletic season together. Please continue to communicate with your coaches and watch for updates at https://www.friends.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rob Ramseyer
Athletic Director
Friends University

COVID-19 Contact Form

Contact Us

Have a question about COVID-19 for us? Use this form to reach out. Alternatively, contact our COVID Hotline at 316-295-5298 or covid@friends.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible.