Orange Coast College is cleared to resume athletic competition, according to the school’s athletic director Jason Kehler.
“We’ve been progressing really well through our return plan,” Kehler said on Monday. “Today we are giving the team the opportunity to resume a full-practice phase. We’ve been approved to move into competition as well.”
Women’s golf was scheduled to play Saddleback College both March 7 and 15, but each match was rained out, postponing OCC’s first competition in over a year. Women’s basketball and soccer will start their season next week as well.
“Our fall sport athletes will have a handful of scrimmages to get some competition opportunities, and the spring sports will return on-schedule April 10,” Kehler said.
Even with Orange County moving into the red tier of reopening last Sunday, OCC is still playing it extra safe on the eve of a loaded athletic calendar.
“We’re still showing a lot of caution, but everything is trending in the right direction – and our test results have reflected that,” Kehler said.
The spring season will see fewer games, no playoffs and close to no outside access to sporting events.
“We definitely have an abbreviated season, and it’s not official yet but it looks like there will not be regional playoffs either,” Kehler said. “We do not have the ability to have spectators in attendance.”
Regardless of the case rate in Orange County, OCC athletes will have to test for COVID-19. According to the CDC guidelines for higher institutions, there is a mandatory requirement for testing – which is part of the reason why high school programs are able to avoid mandatory testing, but colleges must adhere to the the guidelines.
“We are having all of our coaches and athletes test once a week, which is actually above what the guidelines are calling for,” Kehler said. “There are even some gym sports which are getting tested three times a week.”
The spring season schedule is accessible on the school athletic website. All sports schedules, with the exception of women’s golf will be updated within the next couple of days, according to Kehler.