The Coast Community College District approved training for athletes on its campuses as of Nov. 2, including Orange Coast College.
“Our teams are cleared to do socially distanced conditioning,” OCC Athletic Director Jason Kehler said. “We are not able to share equipment or do any drills within six feet of each other, so there is some difference from regular practice.”
CCCD’s decision comes after weeks of delaying the initial Oct. 15 return date.
Kehler emphasized the difference between “training” and “practice,” as there are considerable differences between the two terms -- not to mention the parameters each term entails.
“Practice” would imply the collective gathering of a whole program with the sharing of equipment. “Training,” on the other hand, implies a much smaller-scale operation – one that obviously appealed to CCCD in light of COVID-19 risks.
“In terms of capacity, our teams are broken up into cohorts mainly to accommodate facility size,” Kehler said. “Another focus of ours is face coverings. Athletes need to wear face coverings, with a few exceptions if they’re doing high-intensity workouts.”
The return to “training” was an attempt to get athletes back on campus, but it was not the end-goal for getting athletes back on track for the upcoming spring season. That goal is still “practice.”
Before OCC can make athletics fully operational, it seems the college might need to make a more elaborate protocol in order to minimize COVID-19 exposure.
“OCC [athletics] does not currently have a testing protocol in place but we are monitoring specific symptoms,” Kehler said.