Since the Pandemic started and many Spring athletes had to miss out on their 2020 season, coaches and athletic staff have been trying to get their players back out there as soon as they can.
The most recommended precaution that they have their athletes take is to get vaccinated. Many college campuses are requiring students on campus to be vaccinated before they are able to intermingle with the rest of the student population.
This is a good preventative measure, as well as on campus testing that many schools provide that can give quick results before big games.
For athletes that are not vaccinated, the rules can be a bit different. Coaches can require that their players get tested once a week and maybe multiple times depending on if they travel or have a larger game to attend.
Unvaccinated individuals may also be forced to distance themselves from their teammates and coaches and wear a mask while on the field. This can make playing for a longer period of time more difficult, meaning that getting vaccinated is the best option to have the most normal season possible.
The NCAA has held many meetings to try and determine the best course of action so that these fall sports can play out their season. The board has come to a recent decision to continue to let it continue. The tournaments for the respective sports will be cut down in size to reduce crowding.
Venues for the games will also be minimized so as to keep better track of COVID-19 cases if they happen to arise. Many of the seasons don't start until later fall, giving a sufficient time for practice but also attempting to minimize the season length for safety.
Some states are having to stop their practices due to an influx in covid numbers or cases on their teams. While the schools are trying to keep covid testing available, they can only have a certain number of people at once so if the testing sites get flooded with people, making testing harder for people who are not in immediate need of it.
Last season, North Carolina had to suspend all athletic activities due to the rocket in positive cases. Unfortunately, the seasons will really revolve around how much covid progresses and what happens with the variants.
Regardless, the NCAA and every individual college is working hard to try and get their athletes the most play time as they can.
While this seems like a good option, there is a chance it could go horribly wrong. If cases begin to spread and players avoid getting tested because they'd not be able to walk in and get a test, it could spread the variants. That's the main concern as breakthrough cases pop up with the variants but it is still much less restrictive than the 2020 Fall season.
All in all, the NCAA is said to continue to meet to try and make the upcoming athletic events flow smoother. Mostly, it will move on a state by state basis and maybe even school by school.