Athletics and Fitness

Last Updated: 1/13/2021

RWU Winter Sports Season Canceled

With the health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes and the entire campus community as our top priority, Roger Williams University regretfully announces the cancellation of the winter sports season. The challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose across the region, including the enhanced concerns about indoor sports, was the primary determining factor in this difficult decision.

The RWU campus community and Athletic department will continue to monitor and assess the feasibility of conducting athletic events. The department hopes to have competitive opportunities for winter sports later this spring if possible. In addition, we remain committed to the safe implementation of competition for spring sports if public health conditions improve considerably.

While they will not be able to play in a regular winter season, the Roger Williams University Department of Athletics has developed healthy guidelines and procedures for our student-athletes to remain engaged in fitness and training together with their teammates, coaches, and athletic support staff throughout the spring semester. The Athletic Department will continue to offer practice opportunities, team-building activities, and leadership programming during the spring in order to promote community and mental and physical well-being for our student-athletes.

“I feel for all of our student-athletes and coaches right now,” said Kiki Jacobs, Director of Athletics, Intramurals, and Recreation. “This is an especially challenging decision for our winter sport student- athletes, but we pledge to support them and keep them engaged with their teammates and coaches.”

This Q&A will be updated as more information becomes available. If you have specific questions, please reach out to your coach or to Kiki Jacobs at

Will winter varsity sports (men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, wrestling) be competing in the spring of 2021?

At this point in time, Roger Williams University has suspended winter sports for intercollegiate competition. Teams will be allowed to practice within the parameters of the state guidelines, CDC guidelines, RWU policies, and NCAA resocialization plan. If circumstances change with the pandemic, then we will reconsider competition opportunities.

What about Club Sports?

Club Sports will follow similar guidelines as varsity sports. Practices will be allowed following State, CDC, University and NCAA guidelines. Club sports will not compete in the spring.

Can teams still practice together? Can the coaches be present?

Yes, under the guidelines of the State, CDC, NCAA, and Roger Williams University. We are committed to providing robust practice opportunities for all student-athletes during this challenging time.

Will student-athletes lose a year of NCAA eligibility if they practice with the team?

No, student-athletes will not lose a season of eligibility if they practice but do not compete. The NCAA granted a blanket waiver for this. More details can be found at:

Will fall (cross-country, equestrian, field hockey, golf, polo, sailing, soccer, tennis, volleyball) and spring sports varsity teams (baseball, lacrosse, softball, tennis, track & field) be allowed to hold practices during the spring?

At this point, practices (under certain guidelines) will be permitted for fall, winter, and spring sports under the guidelines set forth by the State, CDC, University, and NCAA.

Can student-athletes use locker rooms and laundry facilities?

At this point in time, locker room facilities will not be open. Laundry facilities will be determined at a later date.

What about all of the medical paperwork for participation?

All student-athletes will still need to complete all medical requirements in order to practice with the team. Requirements can be found here:

Will the Recreation Center, Fitness Center and Pool be open during the spring?

Yes. We will continue to adhere to the strict protocols regarding social distancing, disinfecting, and cleaning that was developed in the fall.

Fitness Center

The Fitness Center will be up and running the week of Jan. 25 – check back for further updates. It opens for one-hour workout slots, then closes to clean for 30 minutes. Access to the Fitness Center is by reservation only: Walk-ins are not allowed. The maximum number of people in the Fitness Center per one-hour workout slot is 35.

Are we in compliance with State and CDC Guidelines?

Yes.  We are meeting and exceeding the standards.  We are using the Reopenri website for guidance and had a member of the RI DOH come in and do a walkthrough prior to opening. 

We have adjusted our original limits of 50 patrons, to 25 until we get through some testing cycles.  How was this number determined and what has been done to safely accommodate these number?

According to CDC and State Guidelines in a Fitness Center like ours, we are allowed one person per 100 square feet.  Our Fitness Center is approximately 9000 square feet.  At 25, we are well under our allowable number.  All Cardio and Strength equipment has been spaced at least 6 feet apart. We are using the stretching area and the racquetball court for the excess equipment to allow for more physical distancing.  Anything equipment that could not be spaced 6 feet or farther apart has been taken off line. 

Workout sessions are only 1 hour in length.

Masks are required at all times in the fitness center including on cardio equipment

Note:  we have reduced available reservations to a cap of 25 until the University has fully completed check-in clearance and return to work testing of students and employees

What are the HVAC and outdoor airflow situation?

Facilities has upgraded and expanded the capacity of the HVAC system and installed special filters (MERV 13).  With this upgrade, more outside air is coming into the Fitness Center and Gym.   8 (5 downstairs & 3 upstairs) Germicidal Ultraviolet lighting system was also installed in the Fitness Center to help kill bacteria and inactivate viruses.   The system works best in a contained environment, therefore the exterior doors will be left shut. 

Will students be encouraged to create “cohorts” by cementing a commitment to regular, particular gym hours?

“Cohorts” will be recommended but not required since all cohorts change daily based on class schedules, residence assignments, and dining schedules.  In addition, individuals often prefer to work-out alone or may not have a cohort. 

Fitness Classes

All Fitness Classes have been discontinue for the semester, we will be exploring options of possible virtual classes - TBA

What are the guidelines for sanitizing/cleaning equipment between uses, as opposed to a 30-minute scrub down between hours?

According to Reopen RI, we need to allow for adequate time between sessions (e.g., 30 minutes) to thoroughly clean the equipment and exercise space. During our 30 minutes intervals, we use the disinfecting mister machine on all upholstery, equipment, dumbbells, cardio and all places that could be touched by patrons.

When students sign up for their reservation through IMLeagues, they receive instructions before confirming their spot confirming that they accept responsibility for  cleaning equipment before and after each use.   Patrons are asked to use one piece of equipment at a time, i.e., no circuits or “super setting,” and they must bring their own personal use close contact equipment like floor mats, jump ropes, bands, foam rollers etc.  The Fitness Center will not provide these items. 

We have signage explaining that people need to wipe equipment before and after each use and our fitness center staff will issue reminders and monitor compliance.

Work-study staff will be trained in proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures as a condition of employment.  They are walking the floors to make sure masks and cleaning are being done by patrons.

How many sanitizing stations are set up in the gym?

We have a total of 11 wipe down stations in the fitness center. There is signage around the fitness center explain how to properly clean equipment

Are patrons advised/encouraged to bring their own equipment (yoga mats, jump ropes, barbells, etc.?)

Yes, when patrons sign up for a reservation, they are told we do not have these items available for use.  We have removed all mats, jump ropes, etc.

Will, there be set, separate hours for anyone who may be vulnerable, supposing we have such students on campus to visit the gym?

Not at this time but we can reevaluate as we move along with this new process

Will egress be marked one-way, etc.?

Yes.  We have a separate entrance and exit with directional arrows on the floor.   

Is there temperature screening?

Yes.  Upon entering, every patron must stop at the thermal scanner.  The thermal scanner is a facial recognition system that records the patron temperature. The same scanners are used in dining and library.  The reservation system will keep a record of who entered the facility at a particular time to assist in any necessary contact tracing efforts.

How is Contact Tracing Handled?

Through the reservation system (IMLeagues) and the Thermal Scanner, we are able to see and track who has used the facility and what time/day there were there.

What is the guidance for the pool?

The Pool will be opening once we get lifeguards in place.  Use will be reservation only.  Temperatures will be taken before entering the facility.  Patrons will enter through the building and exit a door leading directly to the street to create a one way traffic flow.  Pre & post -swim showers are available in the locker rooms.

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