Teams return to Field HOuse


Edward Rudman Sports Writer

Campus was effectively shut down in March when COVID-19 was beginning, but one building that has been used in the months since is the James Moore Field House.

At the end of March, after the semester moved online and most of campus laid dormant, the National Guard took control of the Field House and set it up as a recovery station for Yale New Haven Health to serve as an overflow medical station for patients that are recovering from COVID-19.

“I believe it was March 31, the National Guard came in and set up the facility to be a triage center because the numbers had spiked in Connecticut at the time. While it was a triage center, no one was allowed into the building until about mid-July and that’s when we broke down the facility,” said Jay Turiano, assistant coordinator of Athletic Facilities.

While the National Guard was posted at the Field House, the university had no control over the use of the building. Its intent was to be used as extra patient space for people who were not being treated for COVID-19, but it was never utilized.

At the beginning of the semester, randomized testing was conducted in the Field House, but according to Turiano the location for testing has since moved to the Wintergreen Parking Garage.

Now, the only teams permitted to train inside of the Field House are the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Currently, the volleyball team can practice inside Pelz Gymnasium.

There are other limitations that have been set on the use of the Field House.

“There’s no locker room usage,” said Christopher Lynn, assistant director of Athletics and Head Equipment Manager. “So, none of our teams in phase one are permitted to use the locker rooms. We’re trying to keep everybody within their bubbles and confined within really small groups.”

Not only will there be no locker room use, but the school will not be offering laundry for the athletes. Lynn said the athletes are expected to come dressed in their appropriate training attire and leave the building immediately after their practice is finished.

Once phase two begins on its scheduled start date, Sept. 28, laundry services will return to normal. According to Lynn, the university has not issued out any of the normal gear. Instead all student athletes received general issue shirts and shorts.

Another aspect of the Field House that athletes can use again when they enter phase two is the strength and conditioning room.

The weight room is an essential part to athletes’ training regiments and its return will be welcomed by all athletic programs.

As for the pool in the field house, the swim team will still continue to have access, but the program will be broken up into groups and multiple sessions will take place.

“The swim team has five different sessions throughout the day where they’re going to be training within their separate bubbles,” Turiano said. “The coaches will adjust and hopefully get them ready for some competition next year.”

Photo credit: http://www.southernctowls.com

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