Tufts University removed the basketball hoops that are outside Harleston Hall in an attempt to create more field space for the men’s and women’s varsity tennis teams in early October. The decision is temporarily removed the only available outdoor space for Tufts basketball players.
In an email to the Daily, Athletics Communications director Paul Sweeney explained: why the enlarged tennis room is needed for spring games.
According to NESCAC planning guidelines, competing teams must have a minimum of six tennis courts to qualify for the spring competition, he said. The Vout Tennis Courts, which the tennis teams typically use, are currently unusable as they are occupied by the Mods, who are housing students with COVID-19. As result, the tennis team is limited to four courts in the vicinity of Harleston Hall. Removing the hoops has created space for two additional jobs.
Obeid, a player of the men’s varsity tennis team, explained to the Daily that the tennis rules in the NESCAC were relaxed during the 202021 school year. Now those rules, such as the requirement of at least six available courts, are coming back.
For the first part of the 202122 school year, before the basketball hoops were removed, Tuft’s varsity tennis teams had practiced at the Gantcher Center and on the four Harleston tennis courts. Obeid, a sophomore, explained how the limited space on the court affected his training.
“We don’t practice as much as we’d like when we go in, said Obeid.
According to obedient, the team can now qualify for the competition and practice in an environment that mirrors the competition environment.
The decision to remove the hoops near Harleston was met disappointment from those at Tufts who play pickup basketball.
Pick up basketball player Andrew Younan told the Daily that the group of Tufts basketball players who use Harleston hoops is from 30 students, where smaller groups often go out together. Zane Ice, a sophomore and fellow pickup player, put it: was typical to find Harleston’s runways packed with multiple running fetch games.
With the hoops removed to make room for the tennis team to practice and have gym classes, pickup players are forced to move to Chase Gym for matches. The space is shared with Tufts varsity basketball teams.
Ice explained that without the hoops, pickup players have missed an opportunity to socialize outside with friends.
The outdoor courts were an important space for Younan, now a sophomore, when he came to Tufts last year. He explained that while he is grateful to be able to use the indoor courts, they cannot replicate the same feeling that is present in an outdoor game. For many students, fetch games at the Harleston hoops were bright spots in what has been a challenge in recent years.
“Especially during the pandemic, being able to socialize and be active in a safe environment has been a life-saver for me,” said Ice. said.
Sweeney explained that the lack of outdoor basketball courts is temporary, however.
“Due to student interest in basketball, the project plan also includes the installation of new basketball hoops on the Harleston Hall side of those same courts for playing half-court pickup,” said Sweeney. “Except for any supply chain issues, the basketball hoops are scheduled to be installed by the end of October.”
Students criticized the lack of warning they were given before the Harleston hoops were removed.
I heard about it from people I played on the track with, Ice said. Over the days, we started to gather more information and finally heard from someone from a tennis team that they were going to leave altogether.
This lack of transparency from university officials frustrated Ice and his teammates.
The kinds of spaces Tufts creates around campus are of interest to many people who aren’t necessarily part of a social program, Ice said.
Despite these complaints, the pickup basketball players explained that they understand the need to convert the outdoor space into tennis courts.
If losing the tennis courts is what the tennis team needs, then it had to be done.” younan said:.
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