Clubs Find Ways to Cope with COVID Crisis

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BIRMINGHAM, AL – In early 2020, the global pandemic COVID-19 reached North America’s shores. As a result, those living in the United States were forced to adapt to the “new normal.” This new normal brought on by the virus. Like other people, groups, and teams, the pandemic forced players in the USA Rugby South to find ways to cope with the #COVID crisis.

Birmingham Vulcans Help Bring Rugby Back to Alabama

With the biggest metropolitan area in the state, the Birmingham Vulcans, part of the True South Rugby Union, served a role in bringing rugby back to Alabama. Vulcans Head Coach Allen Kipp spoke with us regarding the practices and precautions the club used prior to resuming play in the fall of 2020.

“The leadership group of the club [Birmingham Vulcans] took the treat of COVID-19 very seriously and halted all club activities early on. As soon as our state allowed return to play, we developed a plan that complied with both USA Rugby and State of Alabama guidelines. We required masks [and] limited use of equipment that could be decontaminated before and after practice. [We] limited drills to keep social distancing in mind. And we asked our members to limit their potential exposure outside of club activities.”

Vulcans Coach Allen Kipp
Birmingham Vulcans Head Coach Allen Kipp spoke with Rugby WrapUp about how his team copes with COVID.

“Any symptoms shown would prevent an individual from training for two weeks for any players. This works through our partnership with UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Sports Medicine. The Vulcans‘ partnership with UAB has been extremely valuable for both COVID and regular rugby needs.”

Tampa Bay Krewe’s Role in Fulfilling FRU and USA Rugby Rules to Resume Play

Further south into the sunshine state of Florida, Tampa Bay Krewe Club President Aaron Martin also spoke with Rugby Wrap Up. Martin provided us with insight into how his team fulfilled both Florida Rugby Union (FRU) and USA Rugby rules and regulations prior to resuming play in a COVID-19 world.

“[The] Tampa Bay] Krewe is doing temp checks before training, [as well as] keeping a log of all attendees for contact tracing. The FRU [Florida Rugby Union] has guidelines on their website that we follow in games we are playing! [We] use CIPP game roster for contact tracing and same temperature check policy.”

Tampa Krewe President Aaron Martin
Aaron Martin

“The Krewe fans and players are now separated. So, no fans [are allowed] on [the] team’s sidelines.” Martin continued.  “If a Krewe player or coach test positive [for COVID], they have to quarantine for two weeks. Or, they must wait until the time they have a negative [COVID] test.”

For updates on USA Rugby South and finding ways to cope with the COVID crisis, please visit Rugby Wrap Up.


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About Brian C. Cole 52 Articles
Mass Comm Grad Student at USF in Tampa Bay, FL (US); write about Rugby as well as Music, Politics, and Weather; Photographer; covers SE Division of USA Rugby League (Atlanta Rhinos,, Jacksonville Axemen, Lakeland Renegades, Southwest Florida Copperheads and the Tampa Mayhem); works with Tampa Mayhem & Tampa Bay Krewe RFC.