ACAA CANCELS 2020-21 SEASON FIRST SEMESTER SPORTS
In step with the most of the other post-secondary conferences throughout Canada, the Atlantic College Athletic Association cancelled their upcoming fall season.
The decision was made with the 10-member institutions and with the help of public health officials.
“We understand this is a very disappointing situation for our student athletes and fans across the region,” said William Lahey, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of King’s College in the announcement on the ACAA website. “At the same time, I am confident that everyone understands the requirements for physical distancing and protection measures are not compatible with competitive sport at our level of play and the risk of transmission among athletes is too great.
“In a nutshell, the health and safety of student athletes, coaches and athletics staff comes first.”
The affected first-semester sports are men’s and women’s soccer and cross country and women’s rugby, as well as exhibition and early season competitions for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and badminton. A decision regarding dual semester sports (i.e. volleyball, basketball and badminton) will be made at a later date to create a condensed schedule. If this is the case these sports wont be able to start until January 2021.
Member institutions are all working to determine how they will deliver classes for the fall semester. While most institutions are leaning towards a hybrid model with mostly online classes. Each campus will adhere to public health directives in all aspect of their learning, living and campus activities.
“We are dealing with an issue that has impacted every aspect of society including colleges and universities and now it has impacted ACAA sports.” said Michael Eagles, Athletics Director at St. Thomas University. “Before this announcement, athletics directors and coaches have been reaching out to their student athletes to relay the news,
“It is hugely disappointing as athletics is an important part of campus life. But there are also serious education and campus issues being addressed by universities, all with safety and health as the main goal. I know ADs and coaches will do their part to support their players and help them succeed as students.”
While the ACAA conference is hopeful to find a way for first semester athletes to participate in some form of athletic programming. Options for this could include individuals or small group training and conditioning.
There will be further updates as things become more clear.
Story by Robert “Nick” McVicar