Plans for Winter Athletics Season 2021
George School is finalizing plans for the winter athletics season with practices scheduled to start Monday, January 25, 2021. “The season will not be a normal one,” said Kurt Ruch, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “We are adjusting time frames, locations, and schedules to fit our facilities and meet our new protocols. We are setting expectations that need to be followed closely for the safety of everyone involved.”
The new guidelines follow all mandates set by the National Federation of High Schools, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Bucks County and Pennsylvania Departments of Health. “Using these protocols, we feel we are prepared to move forward with an abbreviated winter season,” said Kurt. “We ask our community to read through the plan closely.” At this point, visitors will not be permitted at any competition or training sessions—home or away.
Please know events, guidelines, and protocols are changing daily. As we adjust or need to update the schedule, we will do our best to share that information with the entire community. Any questions should be sent to Kurt via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 215.579.6686.
Guidelines for Winter Athletics
George School will compete only in varsity level sports for the winter season. Students who do not make a varsity team will be able to train under the supervision of George School coaches.
All winter varsity teams participating in competitions will be tested weekly. Any student who makes a varsity team is expected to test each week. If students miss a test date, they will not be permitted to participate during that week’s practices or games. A student must pass the weekly test. If any student shows a positive test result, they will be moved to quarantine procedures and will not be able to return to the team until they are cleared by the George School Student Health and Wellness Center. Additional information about testing is explained below in more detail.
Because George School will use pooled saliva testing, the varsity teams will be permitted to mix boarding and day students. Sub-varsity or non-competition sports will not be allowed to mix boarding and day students.
George School will only compete against schools that perform and share testing results for their athletes each week. If a school does not follow a similar testing protocol, George School will not play them. If necessary, George School will look for additional games against schools that test and share similar procedures.
All students, coaches, and Athletics Department personnel are expected to wear masks during all practices, training sessions, and competitions. There are no exceptions. No one is permitted to participate without a mask. During competitions, George School will provide disposable masks for each member of the team. During practices and training sessions, participants need to bring their own masks.
Students are expected to clean their uniform, singlet, or suit after they are distributed to the varsity teams. Laundry service will not be provided throughout the winter season.
Additional Information for Athletes and Families
Winter Athletics Teams Offered
These varsity teams will compete against other schools during the Winter 2021 season:
- Varsity Boys’ Basketball
- Varsity Girls’ Basketball
- Varsity Boys’ Swimming
- Varsity Girls’ Swimming
- Varsity Equestrian
- Varsity Wrestling
The following teams will only train during the winter season. They will not compete against other schools.
- Sub-Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball
- Winter Track
Schedules for Practices and Competitions
The winter athletics teams will begin training on Monday, January 25. Games and competitions will not begin before Friday, February 5. Currently, the Friends Schools League plans to begin competition on or around Friday, February 12. Specific team schedules will be shared as soon as they are completed.
At this point, visitors will not be permitted at any competition or training sessions—home or away. The safety of everyone takes first priority. To help families and supporters view the competitions, George School will live stream the events and links will be shared as soon as schedules are confirmed. The live stream details will be shared with the community through email and social media.
Team Tryouts and Practice Sessions
All winter athletics will begin training and tryouts on Monday, January 25.
Tryouts for the varsity boys’ and varsity girls’ basketball teams will be held daily, January 25 through January 30. The coaches will share their roster selection and discuss decisions made after tryouts. If a student does not make the varsity team, they will be moved to the sub-varsity squad and permitted to train daily with other students in that group.
Any student who is not interested in trying out for a varsity team is asked to notify the varsity coach to have his/her name added to a sub-varsity roster. Training sessions for students not interested in trying out for a varsity basketball team will begin Monday, February 1. Coaches will share specific schedules after students register.
Cheer, swimming, winter track, and wrestling teams will not hold tryouts. They will begin training on Monday, January 25. All students interested in these teams should be prepared for training that day.
Contact Information for Coaches
Boys’ Basketball: Ben Luber (email@example.com)
Girls’ Basketball: Rachel Agosto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming: Ginna Lewing (email@example.com)
Equestrian: Tiffany Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wrestling: Terry McGovern (email@example.com)
Cheer: Sue Clark-Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Winter Track: Mike Bailey (email@example.com)
After the basketball coaches set their team rosters, specific basketball practice and training schedules will be shared with students. Sub-varsity basketball players will train weekly with JV and developmental team coaches.
George School will begin testing all students on campus in January. In the event a pooled test is returned positive, students in the pool will be quarantined until the school receives the results of follow-up testing.
Testing for athletics teams will be held in the FAC Performance Gym or Conference Room. Testing is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Monday and Thursday following each team’s schedule as listed below.
- Specific rosters will be shared each week with the test collection team. Athletes can not be added to a roster after a list is submitted.
- Students will need to follow testing procedures before each test. The specific procedures will be shared through the coaches to each player and family.
- Breakfast food will be provided following the tests for students. The food will be located in the FAC and will be provided by the Athletics Department.
- Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball will be tested on Mondays and Thursdays. Each team will be a separate cohort for two pooled tests.
- Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming will be tested on Thursdays. Both teams will be in the same cohort for one pooled test.
- Varsity Wrestling will be tested on Thursday. The team will be in the same cohort for one pooled test.
The cheer and winter track teams are not competing this term and their testing will occur as part of their day and boarding student group.
Varsity Equestrian will also be tested as part of the day and boarding student testing. This decision will be reconsidered if the team begins to travel or compete.
Non-varsity athletes will be tested weekly as part of their boarding or day student group.
Winter coaches who work on campus will be tested with their team. Winter coaches who work off-campus will be tested with the day students on Mondays.
The Athletics Department will be tested weekly as part of the day student weekly collection.
If an athlete or member of a team tests positive following a pooled test:
- Until results of individual follow-up tests are available, the entire team will be shut down from competitions and training.
- The Student Health and Wellness Center will complete all contact tracing.
- The Student Health and Wellness Center will clear a student or team to return to training or competitions.
- All boarding and day student quarantine procedures will be followed if a student tests positive.