Athletics & Recreation

All new and returning students must complete the Fall Attendance Questionnaire by July 9, 2020.


Athletics and recreation are integral components of the Bates experience for many students. The Department of Athletics continues to monitor the evolving situation of COVID-19. Our goal remains to provide athletic, recreation, and wellness opportunities while maintaining the health and safety of students through risk-mitigation strategies.

In developing plans for the safe return and resocialization of sport at Bates, we continue to follow guidance from the CDC, NCAA, American College Health Association, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, and other sport-specific governing bodies.

Varsity Athletics

While a decision has not been made regarding the fall varsity season by our conference, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, public health restrictions may make it too difficult to offer intercollegiate athletic competition in fall 2020.

Under the circumstances, our goal is to do all we can to support the team ideal and the positive, welcoming, and competitive culture of varsity sports at Bates.

What we know we can do as of today

  • Varsity teams can hold in-person gatherings, respecting campus guidelines.
  • Student-athletes may meet with coaches.
  • Student-athletes may engage in strength and conditioning workouts and other in-person activities to hone physical skills and abilities.
  • Teams may practice in groups if it remains possible to respect campus guidelines in place at the time.

To support and expand such opportunities, NESCAC recently revised its own regulations in order to give varsity teams more opportunities to be together outside their traditional season.

  • Varsity teams will be able to schedule athletic facilities for out-of-season activities, allowing us to control the number of people using a facility at one time and comply with state, local, and institutional facilities-use restrictions. 
  • Varsity coaches will be allowed to supervise out-of-season activities in their sports.  Student-athlete activity will be limited to that which is overseen by coaches and certified athletic trainers. 
  • Winter sports will be allowed to start practices Oct. 15, rather than Nov. 1.
  • In order to account for changing academic calendars, winter sports would be allowed to start competition on Friday, Nov. 13, rather than Nov. 20, as Bates and other conference schools will transition to remote learning after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26). The change will increase competition opportunities before Thanksgiving, should the winter varsity season go forward.

What we might be able to do

  • We may be able to sponsor limited competition in selected sports where safety protocols allow.  Individual return-to-play protocols around each varsity sport will need to be followed in order to move from team gatherings to practices and then to competitions.
  • We may be able to allow a fall sport to be played in the spring. In the event a NESCAC fall team is unable to compete this fall, the conference could allow those to compete in the spring, should Bates choose to do so. This would require an NCAA waiver as well. 

The Department of Athletics will update student-athletes as more information becomes available.

Club and Intramural Sports

Depending upon facility availability and ability to follow health and safety protocols, we will look to support Bates club sport and recreational athletes with as many opportunities as possible. 

Due to space and safety constraints, we do not expect to offer intramural programming in the fall, but we will look to expand recreational offerings, both virtually and outdoors. Intramural programs may be offered later in the fall semester if safe practices can be maintained and strong student interest exists.

Athletic Facilities

Always our top priority, the health and safety of the Bates community within the college’s athletic, recreational, and wellness facilities and programs are more important than ever. 

Following federal, state, institutional, and industry guidelines and recommendations, the Department of Athletics will make the following health-related modifications to facilities and programs:

  • Planning for a staged opening of the facilities and programming.
  • Implementing physical distancing to reduce capacity of activity areas and modifications to facilities and equipment.
  • Enhanced cleaning practices. This will include shared responsibility by those using the spaces (wiping down areas and equipment before and after use), cleaning by staff members at regular intervals, and an increased number of sanitation stations throughout the facilities.

Recreation Programs

Programs will be modified on a case-by-case basis in accordance with appropriate guidelines:

  • Fitness equipment will be available for use but in a limited capacity as per current state guidelines.
  • B-Well programs will continue to be offered virtually. When in-person classes resume they will have a decreased capacity, but we are expanding online and virtual programming capabilities for the campus community.

If you have questions about Athletics and Recreation, please email