Spring Varsity Teams Return to Competition

Remember singing along to 2009 throwback songs on bus rides to away games pre-pandemic? Well, that will once again be the reality for Varsity athletes this spring.
Hotchkiss normally competes in the Founder’s League against ten other schools across Connecticut and New York. However, because competing involved interstate travel, all interscholastic sports games in the 2020-2021 school year were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In an effort to provide spring teams with opportunities for interscholastic competition, the school is partnering with Taft, Choate, Loomis, and Westminster to resume limited competition. Each spring Varsity team will play four to eight games throughout the season. All five schools involved in the partnership are located in Northwest Connecticut, so athletes will not need to cross state lines to compete.
However, COVID-19 will still significantly impact the spring season. Fans will not be allowed to attend games, but when possible, games will be livestreamed. Sports such as lacrosse may be more restricted, because there are closer contacts between athletes during games. Some sports, including ultimate Frisbee and rowing, do not have many opponents and will compete less. Ms. Robin Chandler, co-director of the athletics department, said, “There will likely be fewer mandates placed on sports like golf, tennis, and sailing, where contact between opponents is quite minimal.”
The Record polled the student body to gauge reactions to the news. Out of 134 respondents, 65.2% said that they “completely” support the return to limited competition. AJ Zaccero ’21 wrote, “The spring athletes that missed out on opportunities to get recruited… [now] have their moment to redeem themselves.”
On the other hand, 11.5% of those who completed the survey said that they do not support reintroducing games. Explaining her response, Sophie Davis ’22 said that while she is glad to see sports return, she is “concerned that it may tamper with the school bubble, and we may not be able to do stuff like interdorming as soon.”
As the pandemic forced the cancellation of Taft Day and the entirety of the Founder’s League three seasons, this return to competition is an indication that the school may be able to return to normal competition next year.