A phased fall: How Yale Athletics spent the semester Two clusters this semester — in mid-October on the men’s hockey team and in early November among students in Davenport, Hopper and Saybrook — presented setbacks for Yale’s training status. Overall, varsity teams spent 44 days in Phase 0, 33 days in Phase I, six days in Phase II and zero days in Phase III between the first day of class and Thanksgiving break.

In July, the Ivy League announced the cancellation of fall-semester athletic competition. Although it did not permit contests to occur, the Ancient Eight communicated guidelines for a phased return to training and sport-specific practice.
Graphic by Megan Graham, Production & Design Editor

At Yale, varsity athletes enrolled in residence were able to participate in limited in-person conditioning and practices in line with the Bulldogs’ phasing status.

Yale teams started the semester in Phase 0, forgoing any in-person activity for the few weeks after students arrived in New Haven. The department moved to Phase I on Sep. 21.

After two and a half weeks in Phase I, Yale Athletics upgraded to Phase II on Oct. 7. For the first time all semester, student-athletes could engage in a maximum of two hours per day of sport-specific training, weight training and conditioning, as opposed to the one hour per day of strength and conditioning allowed during Phase I. For athletes, this meant that they could now use the balls, rackets, oars and sticks that they were once so accustomed to using to compete for Yale.

The Bulldogs would spend only six full days in Phase II. On Oct. 13, the department reverted to Phase 0 and a moratorium on in-person activity after a six-person COVID-19 cluster emerged on the men’s hockey team.

By week’s end, 18 positive cases had been recorded on the team, and the University also moved its alert level from green to yellow.
On Monday, Oct. 26, teams returned to Phase I and the limited conditioning and weight training the tier allows.

But the Blue and White never made it back up to Phase II for the rest of the semester. On Nov. 6, a University-wide shift to an orange alert level in response to a cluster of 20 on-campus cases and increased viral spread in New Haven and Connecticut sent all teams back to Phase 0.

Before Thanksgiving break, teams returned to Phase I starting Nov. 16 for the last week of on-campus residential life. Campus residences closed to almost all students on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m.

Graphic by Megan Graham, Production & Design Editor


Photos by Jilly Mehlman, Jessie Cheung and Jasmine Su. Football and soccer photography courtesy of Yale Athletics. Graphics by Megan Graham. Text and layout by Margaret Hedeman and William McCormack.