The COVID-19 pandemic has led Kellogg Community College to officially postpone all athletics until January, when a meeting will be held to discuss future plans.
Yet even before the postponement of athletics at KCC, there were many changes that had to be made to follow the COVID protocols and guidelines.
All athletes had to wear a mask, for example, and answer a series of health questions while also getting their temperature checked before practices.
Loretta Hinds, assistant bowling coach at KCC, stated, “This year has been a tough season for the coach as well as our athletes. We have been unable to practice as much as we want to during the week. It has also been difficult to find times that bowling alleys have enough open lanes to follow CDC guidelines and protocols. Having to take temperatures and ask questions from our athletes before any practice has also had a huge impact on how quickly we are able to start warmups for practice. So far we have tried to make the best out of the situation we are in.”
Bowling is a new sport at KCC added at the beginning of the 2020 school year. To help stop the spread of C0VID-19, bowling athletes at KCC were separated into pods as opposed to meeting with all teammates face to face. They were encouraged to meet only the people that were selected to stay in their pod for the first 14 days of practice, ensuring that only a set amount if people were in one space or location at a time.
KCC bowler Kelsi Kipp stated, “This being my second year bowling for a college team, I would say that a lot has changed. We don’t practice as much or as long as we would usually. We also have not started any matches or tournaments but as we expect they will be completely different this year. For instance, instead of two teams on one set of lanes it will be one team on a set of lanes to follow guidelines. I feel this affects the competitiveness of our team. Being the only team on the lanes takes away the excitement of watching the other team bowl.”
Current guidelines allow no more than one team being on a lane, while traditionally each set of lanes would have two teams that bowl against each other. This change has affected the way tournaments will run since each bowling alley does not have enough lanes to hold every team on its own. Boy and girl teams will have to bowl at separate times and or separate days as teams will have to move in shifts to bowl and stay within guidelines.
Additionally, “From what we have been told, no spectators will be allowed at tournaments or matches,” Kipp said. “This was devastating to find out as so many family and friends would show up to these events to support and cheer us on. Although this has been a drastic change, we as a team are just as ready, if not more than ever, to step foot on the lanes again.”
KCC’s bowling teams are eager to get back to the lanes while following the current COVID-19 guidelines, and are hopeful to return before their first matches in January.