While club sports practices and games were restricted last year due to COVID-19, teams are looking forward to the possibility of getting to travel this fall.

Katie Cutler, a first year graduate student from Dawson, Illinois, and president of the Dodgeball Club team, said the team was impacted positively by COVID-19, and is hoping to build off their increase in numbers in the fall. Cutler said their treasurer helped build the team after he took on a larger role due to her having to work closing shifts at work.

“Before, in the fall, we didn’t really have a whole bunch of people, which was expected. Come springtime, whenever [the treasurer] was in charge, he got a lot of social media going, talked to some of his friends about coming and we actually had an uptick in people coming to dodgeball than we saw last year in the fall,” Cutler said.

Cutler said she assumes the team will continue to follow CDC guidelines. If the team is vaccinated, she said she hopes they can travel as usual for their rubber tournaments, because their travel was restricted last year.

“We were not allowed to travel outside a 30 minute radius. We could, however, host a tournament that we were going to do, but we were inviting alumni who no longer went there,” Cutler said. “And then when we went back to stage 4 or 5, because we were having alumni come, we couldn’t have the tournament.”

Ashley Ivec, a junior industrial engineering major from Plainfield, Illinois, from the powerlifting team, said the only thing COVID-19 affected was their ability to do competitions. However, she said the team is jumping back into a competition this July, so they just had extra practice time.

“We were supposed to have a competition in the spring of 2020. It was supposed to be a home competition, but that got canceled because of COVID[-19], and otherwise we couldn’t really do any competitions. But we’re actually going to be doing a competition this summer in Missouri, but not associated with the school. Other than that, we still have been able to do practices,” Ivec said.

Ivec said she expects that with restrictions being lifted, the team will be able to attend competitions as normal in the fall.

“It depends on other people, what their restrictions are, competition-wise,” Ivec said.

Lexi Houston, a junior speech language pathology and audiology major from Imperial, Missouri, and a player on the Soccer Club team, said the team was restricted on practices because of the number of people. They were also only allowed to play home games, which hurt their number of players.

“Other schools didn’t want to travel to Edwardsville. Typically you play every team twice, once at home and once away,” Houston said. “Some teams, either due to their own COVID[-19] restrictions or because of scheduling, either couldn’t work out getting to Edwardsville or we obviously couldn’t go to them, so we were only able to play one game — and who wants to sign up for a soccer team that only plays one game? So not many people played last semester.”

Like Cutler and Ivec, Houston said she is hoping her team gets to travel in the fall, but she’s said if that’s not possible, the team will find other ways to play.

“No matter what the restrictions are, we do end up just scrimmaging — either just volunteers or we’ll scrimmage the guys’ club soccer team a lot of times, and we’ll just have practice because we all get along and like each other,” Houston said. “So if there’s no games we’ll still get together, but it wouldn’t be as fun.”

Visit SIUE’s Club Sports website for more information.