Appendix D: Athletics

Tiffin University Athletics Return to Campus

The health and safety of our student-athletes and staff is of the utmost importance and our priority in having student-athletes return to campus and begin athletic activities. It is our objective to ensure the health and safety student athletes and staff by following the below guidelines: 

TU is Committed to Care

Tiffin University will make a strong commitment to follow the CDC and State of Ohio guidelines while caring for it’s student-athletes and athletic staff. All Dragons will take it as their personal responsibility to be leaders in how we approach this pandemic. All staff and student-athletes will sign a pledge that each individual will make a commitment to follow federal, state, University and departmental guidelines in order to ensure the health and safety of our campus. Student-athletes will be encouraged to stay on campus and limit any off-campus travel. Athletic staff will be encouraged to practice on weekends and have NCAA mandated off days during the week. 

Zero Tolerance Policy

The Tiffin University Athletic Department is taking extreme precautions to decrease the spread of disease and will have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for student-athletes and athletic staff that do not adhere to the following guidelines. Student-athletes and athletic staff that do not adhere to the following guidelines will be subject to removal from participation in their athletic activities.

Face Coverings

Student-athletes will be provided a face covering when initially returning to campus. Face coverings will be required to be worn at all times while in any publicly shared spaces such as athletic facilities, training rooms and locker rooms. 

Temperature Checks

Student-athletes will be required to have their temperature checked daily prior to any training and/or entering any Tiffin University facilities. Student-athletes will be required to have a temperature below 100.3 degrees in order to participate in athletic activities or enter any Tiffin University buildings/facilities. Athletic staff will follow the University protocols in regards to completing daily health questionnaires, and self-screening/temperature checks. Any student athlete that has a temperature above 100.3 degrees will be required to contact the Tiffin University Health Center.

Physical Distancing

Student-athletes and athletic staff will follow proper social distancing guidelines that have been recommended by the CDC and the State of Ohio. This results in reducing the capacity of public facilities such as meeting rooms, training rooms, weight rooms and all indoor training facilities. This will result in smaller group training, treatment sessions and weight room sessions. Student-athletes and athletic staff are also encouraged to remain six feet apart where appropriate/able.

Hygiene and Sanitation Guidelines

Tiffin University will continue to monitor the sanitation of all facilities regularly in order to adhere to the CDC guidelines and recommendations. Student-athletes and athletic staff are asked to assist in the sanitation of athletic facilities and personal belongings. You are asked to bring your own personal hydration products (water, gatorade, etc.) and are prohibited to share such products with other teammates or student-athletes. There will be no locker room access at this time in order to adhere to physical distancing regulations as well as maintain proper sanitation of facilities. Shower facilities will not be available during this time. Spitting at any athletic training site will be strictly prohibited and will be enforced by all athletic staff. 

Outside Constituents/Facilities

Moving into the fall athletic season there will be no outside constituents (at this time) allowed at any Tiffin University indoor athletic events. This includes training sessions, meetings, treatments and competition. Physical distancing restrictions will be adhered to in all outdoor athletic facilities which will require reducing capacity of stadium seating at competitions. Stadium seating capacity will be addressed and provided to the student-athletes and families prior to competition. By limiting capacity of facilities we strive to limit the exposure of disease to both our student athletes, staff, and outside constituents. 

TU Athletics Phase Approach

Tiffin University Athletics will return to campus in a five phased approach to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. The use of athletic facilities, athletic activities, housing and classrooms will be incorporated in this approach. This plan will be evaluated and correct changes will be made as phase transitions are made. Changes to any ongoing CDC recommendations will be followed and implemented into each phase. 

PHASE I : June 1 - 28

  • Voluntary workouts
  • Weight room opening 

PHASE 2: June 28 - July 31

  • Summer session II begins (live classes and on-campus living)
  • Voluntary workouts continue
  • Weight room workouts continue

PHASE 3: August 1 - 17

  • Fall sports report to campus for preseason training

PHASE 4: August 14 - 17

  • Students move on campus for Welcome Weekend

PHASE 5: August 17

  • Fall semester begins 

COVID-19 Guidelines

If a student-athlete encounters symptoms of COVID-19 they will contact their team athletic trainer, complete a symptom screening questionnaire (provided by Tiffin University’s Health Center) and abide by the following guidelines.  All student-athletes that have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to contact and notify their athletic trainer immediately. Those that test positive or are suspected of having COVID-19 are to follow CDC recommendations for isolations.

People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can leave home under the following conditions**: 

  • If you have not had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened: 
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
    • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. 
  • If you have had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened: 
    • You no longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers). 
    • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved). 
    • You received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines. 

The student-athlete will not be allowed to return to physical activities until cleared by Tiffin University Health Center.

People who DID NOT have COVID-19 symptoms, but tested positive and have stayed home (home isolated) can leave home under the following conditions**: 

  • If you have not had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these two things have happened: 
    • At least 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive test.
    • You continue to have no symptoms (no cough or shortness of breath) since the test. 
  • If you have had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after: 
    • You received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines. 

If a student-athlete or athlete-facing staff member tests positive, close contacts can be identified via contact tracing. Close contact is defined by the CDC as a household member, intimate partner, person with close contact (less than six feet) for a prolonged period of time (greater than 15 minutes). All close contacts may be asked to isolate immediately. 

COVID-19 Positive Specific Housing

If a student-athlete tests positive while on Tiffin University's campus they will be asked to go home if able or be housed in a specific isolated area that has been specified by Tiffin University administration. The student-athlete will have to remain in this space until they are symptom free and have been approved to reside in their regular housing assignment. 

COVID-19 Prevention for Athletic Staff

Tiffin University Athletic Staff needs to set safe and healthy examples for our student-athletes and are at the forefront of displaying behaviors for our student-athletes to follow. We ask that all athletic staff not only educate but also exemplify what it means to be Dragon Strong in order to “Protect our Lair”.

All student-athletes will be required to sign the “The Dragon Pledge” before engaging in any athletic activity. Coaches will be sending this pledge to their own respective student-athletes.

The following guidelines will be enforced to all Tiffin University athletic staff and student-athletes as of 7/15/2020 until further notified. 

Daily Temperature Checks/Questionnaires

  • Student-athletes will be required to take a daily health assessment every morning that will be located in the TU mobile app. 
  • Each team (coach) will be given one thermometer that is to be used to take the temperature of their student athletes before athletic activity.
  • If a team is having multiple athletic activities in 24 hours, it is asked that the student-athletes get their temperature taken in the a.m. and in the p.m.
  • It is to be decided by the coach and the athletic trainer of the team as to who will be taking the student-athletes’ temperatures. 
  • If a student-athlete has a temperature above 100.3 degrees, that student-athlete will be able to have their temperature checked again within the hour to monitor if it has dropped. If the student-athlete continues to have a temperature above 100.3 degrees and/or has any other COVID-19 symptoms that student will be asked to report to the nurse practitioner (Fran Ford) in the Health Center before continuing any athletic/team related activities.
  • If a student-athlete tests positive he/she will follow the protocols of Tiffin University and contact tracing will be administered.

Hygiene/Sanitation

  • Athletic staff will be given disinfection/sanitation equipment in order to keep the respective athletic facilities/spaces clean. It is expected that these spaces will be sanitized immediately following any meetings, activities, training, etc. 
  • There will be a ZERO TOLERANCE policy in regards to spitting. This refers to a student-athlete spitting on themselves and/or any surfaces.
  • There will be no unnecessary contact between student-athletes and/or athletic staff. This primarily is in reference to handshakes and contact demonstrations during athletic activity. There will also be no handshaking prior to or immediately following any athletic competition.
  • All members will be asked to sanitize (wash hands or use sanitizer) frequently. Washing hands before and after each workout or team meeting is required.

Athletic Activities

  • It is recommended that coaches have athletic activities on weekends in order to have our students stay within Tiffin and not travel where they could possibly contract the disease and bring it back to campus.
  • Coaches will be asked to use face coverings during all athletic activities and to follow the six feet spacing recommendations. 

Team Meetings

  • Meetings will need to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • All meeting rooms will be used at half capacity and both athletic staff and student-athletes are expected to remain six feet apart, while also wearing face coverings.
  • Students will arrive at all meetings at the given time and are expected to leave the facility promptly after meeting times. There will be no gathering prior to or immediately following any team meetings or activities in order to enforce social distancing and protect our student-athletes and staff occupying those buildings. 
  • If you are able to host the majority of your meetings online (through Huddle, Zoom, etc.), please do so. Meeting sizes that go above the 50% room capacity rule will be asked to be separated and partially streamed through virtual rooms. 
  • Coaches are encouraged to host athletic meetings outside when/if possible. 

Dining Hall

  • The dining hall will be using contactless procedures in order to assist in social distancing measures. 
  • During preseason, teams should be given specific times that they will need to report for meals in order to limit the amount of student-athletes reporting to eat at one given time.
  • Outdoor seating will be provided if student-athletes choose to eat outside.
  • Coaches should encourage their student-athlete to not congregate/gather in the dining hall.

Athletic Facilities

  • There will be no use of locker rooms for preseason (and until further notice).
  • Student-athletes and staff need to be very meticulous in the entering and exiting of all athletic buildings.
  • There will be signage placed to show the direction of traffic. The signs need to be followed by all athletic staff as well, in order to set a good example for our student-athlete.
  • At this moment the Heminger Center will not be used for indoor athletic activities (training sessions). Before the Heminger Center is allowed to be used, strict sanitation as well as capacity/social distancing guidelines will be enforced. 
  • Restrooms will be open during athletic activity sessions. Each team will be responsible for sanitizing used restrooms after every session. 

Athletic Travel

  • Student-athletes and athletic staff will be required to wear face coverings while traveling with their teams.
  • Athletic staff will need to take the temperatures of all traveling team members before departing Tiffin University and upon arrival at their destination. Any athletic member that has a temperature above 100.3 degrees before departing will not be allowed to travel. 
  • If a student-athlete and/or athletic staff member reads a temperature above 100.3 degrees while travelling, they will be asked to remain separated from the group and separate travel will be provided to travel back to campus.
  • Travel members will be asked to sanitize (wash hands or use sanitizer) after every stop that is made and before stepping on transportation. 
  • Teams should only allow two student-athletes per hotel room.
  • Vans and buses will be sanitized after every trip.

Sports Medicine

  • Upon entry into any athletic training room, masks must be worn (and properly covering the mouth and nose). 
  • Temperatures will be taken by a member of the athletic training staff or a student worker. 
  • Absolutely no food or drinks will be allowed in the treatment area. 
  • Student athletes are asked to maintain social distancing at all times. Curtains will be in place between treatment tables that are not six feet apart. 
  • Student athletes will assist in sanitizing all rehab equipment they use, as well as any game ready sleeves they may use. 
  • Athletic training room capacities will be limited and everyone will be required to sign up for a time (no exceptions). Capacities are subject to change once we see how everything is working. 
  • Student-athletes are asked to arrive promptly on time and depart when their time block has ended. 
  • Gillmor Athletic Training Room: due to space limitations only one athlete and one athletic trainer will be permitted at a time. 
  • Hanson Athletic Training Room: a maximum of 12 athletes will be permitted at a time. 
  • Heminger Athletic Training Room: only four athletes and one athletic trainer will be permitted at a time
  • Paradiso:
    • Ice machines are to be used by staff members only to lower the risk of contamination. 
    • Soccer teams will tape in the game field bench area.
    • Football will tape outside either on the sidewalk in front of the building or on the concrete pad behind the building. 
  • Every student will receive their own reusable Gatorade bottle. The student-athletes will be responsible for their own bottle and will be expected to bring their bottle to all athletic activities. There will not be any other bottles/cups provided at athletic events. Please try to have your bottles filled before arriving at training sessions to eliminate any backups/congestion at a filling station.
  • While at training, there will be one person designated to fill up the bottles in order to avoid cross contamination. Each student-athlete will simply remove the lid of their bottles, have it filled by a designated trainer/manager and then resume using their own bottle. At NO POINT are student-athletes allowed to share water bottles.
  • Should you lose your bottle, a replacement will be provided for $3 which will be charged to your head coach/team and they may in turn charge you for it.
  • Ice baths will only be available for heat related emergencies.

Weight Room/Strength and Conditioning:

  • Upon entry into the weight room for the day’s session, temperatures will be taken (by Kyle Gilbert or a student-worker) for all student-athletes.
  • Masks will be required during all weight room sessions.
  • Personal water bottles are to be used (no sharing and drinking fountains will be turned off).
  • Teams using the weight room will have specific report times, and will leave as a group before the next team will be permitted to enter.
  • Upon completion of each session, student-athletes will assist in wiping down and sanitizing all equipment.
  • Racks/groups will be assigned to allow for proper social distancing.
  • A coach’s attendance will be mandatory for each session (to assist in instruction and compliance).
  • Potential fall schedule locations (schedules TBA):
    • Hanson - Baseball, M/W Basketball, Football, Lacrosse, Softball, M/W Track & Field (General Students will have specific times to come in also).
    • On-Site - M/W Soccer (Paradiso), STUNT/Cheer (St. Mary’s), Volleyball (Gillmor)
    • Wrestling Room - Esports, M/W Golf, M/W Tennis, M/W Wrestling
    • Heminger - M/W Cross Country, M/W Track & Field