Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and CAA Football has announced that CAA football has been suspended for this fall and that member institutions have the option of evaluating conditions over the next several weeks and deciding whether to move forward with competition in all other fall sports if it is safe to do so.

Elon is currently monitoring pandemic conditions while also making plans to compete as an independent in football and seeking opponents to replace canceled conference games. Elon could still compete against some CAA opponents if those schools also choose to compete as independents this fall and can do so safely.

In addition, Elon also intends to compete in other fall sports if conditions allow but will delay the start of competition until Aug. 29. If athletics competition takes place, it will be held in venues with adjusted maximum attendance and physical distancing, based on local and state guidelines. When possible, Elon athletic teams will compete with regionally located teams. This will reduce travel to remote locations around the country as well as reducing visors from remote areas to Elon’s campus. Visit the Elon Phoenix website for more information.

Student-Athlete Screening & Monitoring

Phased Return of Student-athletes

Athletics will implement a phased return of student-athletes, beginning in late May and continuing through the start of the fall semester, with staggered arrivals for football, basketball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, cross country, volleyball and the rest of the student-athlete population. Phasing will decrease the number of student-athletes in close proximity while transitioning onto campus.

Regular Health Screenings

Due to the close contact required for training and competition, regular health screenings will be adopted. Under the guidance of the team physician and sports medicine staff, student-athletes will be regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms. This may include questionnaires, temperature checks and testing.

High-hygiene Environment

In student-athlete support areas and locker rooms, enhanced cleaning practices will be employed. This will include shared responsibility by those using the spaces (wiping down areas before and after use), cleaning by staff members at regular intervals and deep cleaning by Physical Plant staff. Hand sanitizers, personal towels and antiviral sprays will be utilized where necessary.

In student-athlete support areas and locker rooms, including weight rooms, training rooms and the academic support services offices, capacities will be reduced, and staggered schedules will be created to facilitate physical distancing.

Elon’s Athletics COVID-19 Committee will develop sport-specific mitigation strategies pertaining to acclimatization, practices, balls or playing apparatuses, equipment, sanitization, travel, distancing, sport-specific venues and activities. Guidance from the NCAA Sports Science Institute, the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine and other sport specific governing bodies will be used to develop these plans for the return and resocialization of sport.

Fan Information

Adjusted Attendance Maximums

Based on North Carolina and local guidelines, as well as campus practices, athletics events will be hosted in front of reduced capacity crowds. Strategies will be developed for varying percentages of capacity, with initial decisions made in July and August. Guidelines for indoor and outdoor facilities will differ based on best practices.

Physical Distancing in Venues

Tickets may be assigned to enter at specific gates and lines will be queued with appropriate spacing outside of the venue. Seating strategies will be developed that allow the ability to physically distance oneself, including broad use of general admission-style seating, the creation of mask-required sections and the ability of guests to move freely about venues to less crowded areas as desired.

Low-touch Environment

To protect both staff and guests, use of hard tickets will be minimized, handouts and programs will be reduced or eliminated, touchless pay in concessions areas will be expanded, safe food practices at concession stands will be employed and buffet-style food offerings in premium spaces will no longer be used.

Event Flexibility

Stadium changes dictated by the NCAA, CAA or other relevant agencies will be employed, as well as efficient ticketing and communication strategies in case changes must be made to events. Effective notification of students, staff, families and fans will be critical in the event of alteration or cancellation of competitions.

Virtual Strategies

Elon athletics will enhance coverage on social media, educate fans on offerings through FloSports and broadcast games through low-cost/no-cost options when available.

Rhodes Stadium

Rhodes Stadium will suspend half-time hospitality for the 2020 football season. Fans will be encouraged to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in the stands. Concessions policies will be adjusted in keeping with current food service standards. Children play areas will be suspended for the 2020 season.

Visiting Teams

Visiting teams and travel parties, including coaches and staff, will be required to complete screenings prior to participation on Elon’s campus. Visiting teams’ sports medicine staffs will be responsible for oversight of any medical screening and care pursuant to standards set by Elon’s Athletics COVID-19 Committee.

Sport-specific Guidelines

Football

  • North Carolina guidelines and executive orders will determine capacity. If significantly restricted, attendance will be limited to student-athlete guests, students, faculty and staff and season ticket holders only.
  • A broad general admission/open seating area will be created. Guests may be assigned to any seats within a section rather than prescribed individual seats to allow for physical distancing.
  • We will postpone, suspend or virtualize large events that normally take place at football games. We will postpone the 1980 National Championship Celebration and combine it with the 1981 Celebration in 2021.

Volleyball

  • North Carolina guidelines and executive orders will determine capacity
  • Schar Center will continue to be general admission/open seating. Volleyball will remain a non-ticketed event.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.
  • Seats behind the team benches and staff will be free of fans.

Soccer

  • Rudd Field is not an enclosed athletics venue. As such, events will continue to be general admission/open seating.
  • Both men’s and women’s soccer will remain non-ticketed events.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.

Cross Country

  • Elon’s South Campus Cross Country Course is not an enclosed athletics venue. As such, events here will continue to be general admission/open seating.
  • Cross Country will remain a non-ticketed event.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.

Basketball

  • North Carolina guidelines and executive orders will determine capacity for basketball games in Schar Center. If significantly restricted, we will limit attendance to student-athlete guests, students, faculty and staff and season ticket holder only.
  • Hospitality practices within the Gill Room and Sunbrella Club will be modified to reflect reduced capacity, physical distancing and best practices in food service.
  • The upper level of Schar Center will be open for all games to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Athletics will encourage masks and social distancing of attendees through signage and advertising.