Club Sports teams are looking forward to the day they can compete again


Cumberland University

Student athletes are waiting with bated breath for the day they can compete again.

FLINT, Michigan–Although their Fall 2020 competitions were cancelled, Club Sports players are continuing to brave a season unlike any other.  

The decision to cancel all competitions for Fall 2020 was made on July 30, by the Department of Recreational Services (DRS). 

Since then, team leaders have taken to developing plans for hosting modified practices, and are continuing to recruit athletes. 

Julia Stulock, Club Sports Associate Director, said the DRS referred to public health guidelines and the MHSAA when deciding to cancel games. At the time, gyms throughout the state remained closed, and the NCAA was continuing to cancel tournaments. 

Furthermore, Stulock explained, the hotel visits and carpool assignments that accompany traveling for games would’ve made it harder for athletes and coaches to maintain social distance. 

When it comes to competing safely, Stulock said, “We don’t have the same type of monetary support that [NCAA sponsored] programs do. We don’t have the money to be doing testing on a daily basis, or a weekly basis, or at all.” 

The DRS didn’t receive any backlash for their decision to cancel competitions. “We didn’t have a single complaint,” said Stulock, “I think everyone kind of knew it was coming.” 

Stulock foresees Winter 2020 being the earliest athletes will be able to compete. 

“The leagues’ plans are to kind of reassess things in November,” said Stulock, “So, the soonest we anticipate any competitions would be winter semester.” 

Until then, teams are planning for practices that satisfy the CDC’s guidelines for preventing COVID-19. 

For the baseball team, whose members have been meeting for practice since Oct. 4, this means wearing face coverings, socially distancing, and sanitizing equipment before and following each practice. 

President of the baseball team, Shbeib Dabaja, said athletes were upset about the cancellation of fall season games. “You really bond in those games. Win or loss, it brings the team closer together,” said Dabaja. 

Dabaja is hopeful for a spring season complete with games. In the winter leading up to this season, the baseball team plans to continue practicing inside. 

“We’re going to come out prepared and looking to win games in the springtime,” said Dabaja. 

Although this fall season is different from most, Club Sports teams are still recruiting prospective athletes. 

“It’s the perfect time to develop your skills if you want to play baseball, if you’re interested in baseball, if you’re a former athlete who wants to give another sport a try, or if you just want to make a bunch of friends,” said Dabaja. 

According to Stulock, Club Sports are inclusive, and accept many of the students who apply. 

“It’s not a cutthroat system,” said Stulock, “That’s the beauty of club sports. You can compete in the sport you love while representing the University.” Anyone who’d like to participate in Club Sports can express their interest here, or by emailing [email protected].