Spring Term Information for Phillips Academy Families

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Spring Athletics Update

Andover Athletics remains committed to building the most robust athletic programming we can for all in Spring 2021, from interscholastic and recreational to dance and Outdoor Pursuits. We align first and foremost with our student-athletes who cannot wait to get back onto playing fields and spaces with their teammates and coaches for training and hopefully, competitions too. We do not underestimate the physical and emotional toll of COVID for our student-athletes and all student-athletes. Our hope and our student-athletes hope align – let’s do everything we can to get out and play, train and compete.

Will there be spring tryouts?

Yes. Our plan is to hold tryouts for baseball, crew, golf, lacrosse, softball, tennis, ultimate, and volleyball. Spring teams that will be competitively training but do not typically hold formal tryouts include track and field and cycling. Water Polo, due to the high-contact nature of the sport, will not have a competitive season. Water Polo, as in the fall, will train in an all-gender environment.

Spring tryouts will begin as soon as spring quarantine ends.

Will there be JV teams and practices?

Yes. However, we do not anticipate there will be JV competitions/matches. Our focus for athletic scheduling will be for varsity teams only.

Which spring sports will be offered?

All spring sports options are posted on PAnet Blackboard for students.

If colleges are hosting athletic recruiting camps in the spring, will the student be permitted to attend?

Boarding students must remain on campus for the duration of the term. Very few requests to leave campus will be granted by the student’s class dean and the Sykes medical team. If there is a specific opportunity that a student would like to consider, please communicate with the student’s class dean.

When might we see a spring schedule for spring varsity teams?

Please visit the Andover Athletics website for all team schedules.

What challenges are there to schedule spring competitions?

One challenge – though not insurmountable – is that Andover across nearly every sport is not affiliated with a “league” and thus, our job is to work to create a small pod of schools who also are similarly “independent” like us who will prioritize us as competition and visa versa.

What about competing against the Independent School League?

The ISL will prioritize creating a schedule within their own league first and foremost. We have contacted all MA ISL athletic departments to make clear that after they create their in-league scheduling, we would like to explore opportunities to compete.

What other considerations impact scheduling?
Andover will not schedule a game/match/race against any program/school that does not have a robust testing protocol in place. However, they do not have to have Andover’s exact testing protocol. Every private school, day or boarding, has the same policy about requirements for testing protocols.

Massachusetts public schools (MIAA) plan to compete. Can we compete against public school teams?

NO. Guided by the policy stated above, (requirement for testing), we will not schedule any scrimmages or games against MIAA schools. This policy is consistent with all private schools as well as consistent with MIAA policies for competition.

Will students have access to athletic facilities this spring?

Yes. While we will continue to limit the number of students permitted in the fitness center and the pool for lap-swim time, students will be able to access our on-campus athletic facilities 7-days per week: Snyder Center and Memorial Gym.

Will the crew program be able to train at the boathouse?

YES! As was the case in the fall term, we will have school buses that transport students to the William H. Brown Boathouse for training on the Merrimack River. There are also ergs available on campus in the Snyder Center.

Can we compete against teams from RI, CT or NH?

Any teams (youth/high school etc) outside of Massachusetts, by the state’s travel advisory, are NOT allowed to travel into MA for games.

Can MA teams travel out of state?

Massachusetts travel advisory requires that IF a MA sports/youth team travels out of state, all participants must quarantine upon return to the state until a COVID test returns negative. The only NH team we will likely consider is competing at Exeter in late May.

If Andover competes, will they allow fans/parents to attend?

No. Outside fans (out of our testing protocol) will not be permitted to attend any scrimmages or games we hope to compete in. This policy aligns across all peer schools.

Will any competitions that occur at Andover, even intra-squad competitions, be live-streamed so parents and others can watch?

Yes. While we cannot guarantee every spring sport will have the capacity to live-stream, we do have these capabilities currently in place at Phelps Stadium, baseball/softball, and Memorial Gym. We would explore the possibilities for streaming for other sports once we have a clearer sense of competitive play.

What else is important for our students and families to know from the Athletic Department?

We are excited and committed to work on behalf of our athletes and adjust to the fluid nature of our circumstance. Spring captains are invited each Sunday night, beginning in February, to a zoom conversation with Athletic Director Lisa Joel to answer questions as they arise and share concerns/feedback.

The Athletic Director has been and will continue to be engaged in numerous conversations weekly with our peer schools and college athletic programs to figure paths forward. Not every spring sport will have the same path and there will be starts and stops but forward we go. GO BIG BLUE!