Following Santa Clara County’s designation of “Purple Tier,” the tier with the strictest COVID-19 restrictions, Stanford Athletics released updated competition and training guidelines for football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving as well as all other winter sports. The county recently banned all college and professional athletic practices and competition within county limits, except for those that operate fully outdoors and whose players can stay at least six feet apart at all times, leading to adaptations by all Stanford sports teams currently in season.
Stanford football, coming off a Big Game win at Cal last Friday, left for Washington yesterday in preparation for a Dec. 5 game against the No. 22 Huskies in Seattle. Oregon State was supposed to visit Stanford Stadium to play the Cardinal the following week, but Stanford will now travel straight to Corvallis, where the game will now be played, in preparation for the Dec. 12 game against the Beavers.
The men’s basketball team wrapped up the Maui Invitational today in Asheville, N.C. and is planning to stay in the state indefinitely to continue training. Santa Clara County guidelines require anyone traveling from more than 150 miles away to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, so the team would not be able to practice for two weeks if it returned to Stanford.
Men’s hoops were scheduled to play non-conference games against Cal Poly, Loyola Marymount and Sacrament State in the coming weeks at Maples Pavilion, but these games have been canceled. The team is instead exploring the possibility of scheduling non-conference games against regional opponents in North Carolina.
The Cardinal’s Pac-12 season opener, an away game against USC on Dec. 13, is currently still scheduled to be played. The Cardinal are also set to play Arizona on Dec. 19 in Maples Pavilion in the team’s second conference matchup, but the newest county health guidelines expire on Dec. 21 so Stanford Athletics is searching for a new location for the contest.
The women’s hoops team, after already having their two previous games canceled after winning their season opener against Cal Poly, will not play their next three home games against Washington State, Washington and University of California-Davis in accordance with county health guidelines. Instead, an out-of-state game has been added; the Cardinal will travel to Las Vegas for a Dec. 5 matchup with UNLV. Practice locations and games following Saturday’s matchup have not yet been determined.
Stanford Athletics did not provide detailed information about the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams except to say that fall competition is underway and that both teams “will continue to train in accordance with the latest county guidelines.”
Meanwhile, some winter sports that have already begun preseason training will be forced to modify their training regimens to follow the newest health guidelines. All winter sports whose official training is scheduled to start in late December or early January will take plan according to plan unless the latest restrictions and guidelines are extended into 2021.
Contact Sofia Scekic at sscekic ‘at’ stanford.edu.