Sports & Leisure

Outlaw Center Implements New Rules

Jared Jacoby: The Spring Hill College cheerleading team holds a safety-compliant practice in the gym.
The Spring Hill College cheerleading team holds a safety-compliant practice in the gym.


Students at Spring Hill College who want to work out at the college’s recreational center face regulations and restrictions that have changed the way the gym operates.

The Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center closed back in the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it reopened in August. There have been many regulations made to reduce the risk of COVID. 

When students enter the building, they must present their student ID, complete a COVID-19 assessment from GuideSafe Healthcheck to receive a passport and have their temperature checked before they can access the facilities.

In the fitness rooms, only four students are allowed in each room and they must keep their masks on. 

SHC junior, Mikaela Gamboa, has worked out in the recreation center since her freshman year. This semester, she has been wearing her mask while working out. 

“It’s hard to be able to keep up a rate of physical activity that feels like your heart rate is up whenever you feel like you are inhaling a mask most of the time,” Gamboa said.

Another new rule is that there is a 45-minute time limit for the fitness rooms. “That’s kind of a voluntary enforcement,” Joe Niland, Athletic Director of Athletics and Recreation at SHC. “The idea was if we have a large amount of people who want to use the building, then we have to have people move through the rooms.”

The recreation center requires students to wipe down the equipment after they use it. In addition, some of the equipment was moved out of the weight room and spread out among the racket ball courts or around the corners of the indoor track in order to spread students out. 

As for sporting events this semester, there will not be any games in the recreation center according to Niland.

Sports teams can still practice, but volleyball and basketball teams are limited to four hours a week for practice because they are considered high-risk sports. 

Niland voiced concerns about when sporting events start to come back, as not a lot of decisions have been set in stone. Niland asked, “When we start sports in the spring, how are we going to manage the traffic flow with sporting events, or do we shut the building down? Do we bring fans? Do we allow students to come to the games and how many?”

With the new regulations, students find it harder to exercise with each other. “My friends and I really like to workout together, but it is hard with the four-person limit,” Gamboa said. “I want to see regulations for more people to come in, but I know that is going to take some time.”

The recreation center at SHC is open every day for workouts and practices to students, staff and faculty. Most areas are open, but the locker rooms remain closed.

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