Billy Eugene Self Jr.
The Centennial Conference has just announced that beginning in fall of 2021, sports equipment for many teams will be changing.
Current student-athletes in the sports receiving changes will be able to finish out the remainder of their season in spring of 2021 before changes are implemented at the start of the next school year.
Traditional lacrosse sticks will be replaced with soup spoons in the upcoming season, and goalies will be provided with bowls as a replacement, allowing them to keep the same advantage of a larger pocket on their traditional sticks.
Lacrosse checking and scoring rules will remain the same with the spoons.
“I am excited for the conference to implement these equipment changes,” Washington College assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach Justin Norris said. “Our team’s speed and agility with the stick was already great, so the spoons will provide us an even better opportunity to showcase those skills next season.”
Another sport with changes coming in the fall is swimming. Along with its chlorine treatments, the pool in the Casey Swim Center will be given gelatin treatments as well to thicken the water to a Jello-O-like consistency.
The Centennial Conference is allowing schools to color their Jell-O pools with skin-safe dye according to their school’s represented colors or add flavor to the jello if they choose.
“The new Jell-O pools will present our team with a new challenge,” junior captain of the WC women’s swim team Kristen Mills said. “The added resistance of the Jell-O will make us stronger swimmers, and I am excited to see our team grow and develop with this change in place.”
Men’s and women’s tennis will also undergo equipment changes. Traditional tennis balls will be replaced with yoga balls; racquet and court sizes will remain the same.
The Centennial Conference has made it clear that the only yoga balls considered regulation in this change are non-weighted yoga balls. Using weighted yoga balls during a match will result in immediate disqualification and forfeit.
“The only concern I have about this change is how we will have to adjust our swing as players,” WC sophomore men’s tennis player Aiden Johnson said. “I know we will adapt quickly and be successful. The team is looking forward to next season.”
The baseball and softball teams in the Conference will be switching out wooden bats for pool noodles next season.
Before each game, referees will be conducting a routine check, ensuring each noodle is hollow. Players found with wooden or metal inserts in their pool noodles will be suspended from play indefinitely.
Further regulations are yet to be established by the Conference, but schools will be notified once the regulations are in place.
“I’m excited for this change in equipment, as it is better for our players financially.” WC junior captain of the women’s softball team Kelsey Moore said. “Bats are pretty expensive, and it’s also more convenient– you can find pool noodles just about anywhere during the summer, and you can just cut them down to size instead of searching far and wide for the bat that fits you best.”
As of right now, these are the only sports the Centennial Conference has announced equipment changes for, but student-athletes and their coaches are advised to be on the lookout for more information from the Conference before the Fall of 2021.
Preview photo of lacrosse’s spoons for the coming season. Photo by Single Ply Toilet Paper.