Independent School League December Update on Winter Sports
December 11, 2020
Amidst continuing health and safety concerns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Independent School League (ISL) has met extensively over the past several months to consider options for winter sports. As was the case in the summer, we consulted with the Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) and Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC), with whom some of our schools have families in common. The three leagues share the common goals of supporting our student-athletes and ensuring a safe return to competitive athletics.
After much deliberation, the league has decided to not hold a league-sanctioned winter season. We will re-evaluate the situation in February regarding the fall and spring seasons.
The pandemic has created a need for flexibility across the board for all schools both academically and athletically. It is our hope that this decision will provide that opportunity for schools under these very difficult circumstances. The ISL remains committed to working towards finding ways to support healthy competition in a safe manner and to prioritize the physical, emotional, and social well-being of our student-athletes.
Will there be interscholastic sports and a pre-season this year?
The public health conditions and the need for an elongated campus re-population plan require us to forgo our typical pre-season. While there will be no traditional preseason, we still want to take advantage of the time to be fit and ready. In mid-August, girls will receive a combination of independent workouts (stretches, conditioning, nutrition etc.) and a schedule for synchronous virtual workout sessions with members of the Athletics Department and their sport-specific coach.
What will the fall programming look like if there are no competitions with other schools?
We are designing an athletics program that will utilize coaches to teach sport and game fundamentals, Breakaway Fitness to support our efforts in wellness and strength and conditioning, as well as continued leadership development opportunities. We will generate fun and teamwork with intra-squad competitions throughout the days and weeks as well. The principles of the design of this program are three-fold:
• Individual and Public Health
• Commitment to sport and fitness
• Return to competition
What does this mean for apparel and equipment purchases?
Not unlike a normal year, student-athletes will still need practice gear and sport-specific gear and equipment. To that end, we will open the first Adidas team store that will include practice gear only (practice t-shirt, shorts, practice pinnie). These items can also be purchased in the school store. We will open the full Adidas team store to our athletes in mid- to late September. This will allow families to have all the questions answered and gives the girls an opportunity to adjust their schedules as needed before purchasing gear.
Can my daughter participate in outside athletic travel team practices/competitions?
Due to the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the campus community, we cannot allow boarding or day students to participate in off-campus club sports until further notice. This is rooted in our approach to minimize student exposure and is also consistent with other boarding schools. We will continue to review this policy throughout the year as CDC, ISL, and VISAA COVID-19 guidelines evolve. Low to moderate risk activities may occasionally be granted an exception. That determination will be made by the Athletic Director and/or appropriate parties.
Have all activities open to the public accessing the Hurd been discontinued?
They have not. We have separated their work from our community, and they have strict protocols and we will follow them with cleaning
If a student opts to attend a mod virtually, what does that mean for her ability to participate in sports?
When a student attends a mod virtually, all of her blocks (classes and activities) will be virtual. On the reopening website, the sports/activities that can be attended remotely are listed.
How will athletic D-blocks like fitness, pilates, yoga, zumba be adjusted?
Those classes will also follow physical distancing guidelines and will enter a disinfected space and have the space disinfected afterward.
With the move to virtual school, does that now allow girls to participate in club sports?
Yes, with the shift to virtual learning during Mod 1, students will be permitted to participate in club and travel teams during this time frame. If a student should decide to continue participation in club or travel teams beyond Mod 1, we will ask students to continue with virtual learning as part of the necessary mitigation steps to allow for in-person learning to occur, while keeping the community healthy and safe.
Can I participate in outside activities (club sport, job, specialty lessons, etc.) if I will be learning in-person?
The decision on whether to participate in a club sport, job, or specialty lesson during a pandemic is a potentially complex one but not without options. As a School, Madeira is following the Phased Guidance for Virginia Schools from the Virginia Department of Education. We have prepared this guide to help inform your decision on in-person vs. remote learning. Please contact us if you have further questions.
How do I order my athletic apparel?
Will Riding/Equestrian be an option for D Block this year?
Yes. While there is no Riding/Equestrian pre-season, there will still be the opportunity for girls to have Riding as a D Block.
Can I still bring my horse to Madeira?
Yes. You can still bring a horse to school this year. If you want to board a horse and have not done so already, please contact Mr. McCartney, as stalls are limited.
Will I be able to ride during distance learning?
Yes, the stables will remain open during distance learning, winter, and spring breaks, assuming state and local public health conditions allow
Will there be the opportunity to compete off-campus?
Yes, the equestrian program will attend off-campus USEF, IEA, and non-rated competitions as long as national, state, and school health guidelines allow.
Will riding be able to continue as it did this summer?
Riding is a low-risk activity and we have therefore had an ability to have the barn operate at a limited capacity. As of now, Riding will be able to continue but we have not identified what the decision to delay in-person learning means for Riding as an activity or D Block.