Heartland Moves Football, Volleyball, Soccer To Spring

CARMEL – After careful consideration and extensive deliberations, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Council of Presidents has voted unanimously to postpone conference competition in fall season sports that are classified as high risk by the NCAA.

Conference competition and conference championships in football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball will be postponed to the spring. Manchester University and its athletics staff is committed to offering its student athletes an engaging athletic experience with extensive team activities this fall followed by competitive seasons in the spring. In response to the everchanging shifts in the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes place the health and safety of the student athletes, coaches, support staff, and campus community in the highest priority, while also ensuring an opportunity for as much participation as possible in each HCAC sport. Manchester University is continuing to consult with health professionals to explore out of conference competition in these sports during the fall semester.

The decisions on shifting the competitive seasons for these high risk sports came after careful deliberation and analysis of whether the HCAC institutions could successfully fulfill NCAA testing recommendations without drawing vital health resources from their local communities.  

Based on risk classifications by the NCAA, The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference has decided to move forward with the fall season sports of golf, tennis, and cross country. Additionally, the HCAC will schedule competitions for the medium risk spring sports of baseball and softball during the fall semester. These competitions will not count toward conference championships standings.

A decision on basketball and wrestling, which are classified as high risk by the NCAA, will be made in the near future. Swimming and diving, which is classified as low risk by the NCAA, will continue to move forward with its standard schedule. A decision on the winter sport of indoor track and field will be made at a later date to assess whether its classification will remain low risk.

The HCAC and Manchester University will continue to explore all options for a safe return to intercollegiate athletics. The HCAC leadership will communicate further developments regarding competition in 2020-21 as solutions are finalized and implemented. The priority of the HCAC, its Council of Presidents, and Manchester University continues to be a commitment to the health and safety of its student athletes, coaches, support staff, and campus community.

Indiana schools in the HCAC are Manchester University, Anderson University, Earlham College, Franklin College, Hanover College and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology



GLVC To Start Some Winter Sports Early, Moves FB, VB, Soccer

INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference’s  Council of Presidents has voted to postpone the majority of the 2020 fall intercollegiate athletics season until the second semester, due to ongoing concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made based on guidance from the league’s athletics directors and an extensive review of the recommended testing and safety measures developed by the NCAA Sport Science Institute.

The fall sports of football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball will have regular-season competition and GLVC Championships conducted in the second semester, while the sports of men’s and women’s cross country will still be permitted to compete this fall with the 2020 GLVC Cross Country Championships slated for Oct. 24. Men’s and women’s golf and tennis will also be allowed to compete in their non-championship segments in the fall and continue their season into the spring when their respective championship seasons begin.

In addition, several winter sports are scheduled to begin their 2020-21 seasons as early as September. The sports of women’s bowling, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field will be permitted to compete as scheduled, while the Conference has established Oct. 1 as the deadline to determine the competition start date for the sports of men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling.

 Furthermore, the spring sports of baseball and softball will be permitted to have only intrasquad competition on campus in the fall, while men’s and women’s lacrosse will be restricted from all competition until second semester.

The distinction between the sports stems from the sport classification put forth by the NCAA Sport Science Institute, based on a consensus by the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) COVID-19 Working Group. Bowling, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field were classified as low contact risk sports, while baseball, cross country, and softball were deemed medium contact risk. The NCAA believes low and medium contact risk sports can successfully implement physical distancing and universal masking practices during all sport activities; however, the level of risk in cross country and track and field are dependent upon the student-athlete’s proximity to other unmasked individuals. The sports in which those safety practices are deemed highly unlikely by the NCAA, including basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and wrestling, have been classified as high contact risk sports.

“Regrettably, we find ourselves having to make these difficult decisions in July similar to those made in mid-March, regarding the postponement of GLVC competition for football, soccer, and volleyball for the fall semester,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “We remain optimistic that we can provide our student-athletes impacted by today’s news with meaningful opportunities to engage with their teammates and coaches throughout the fall semester to prepare for the planned return to competition in the spring. The GLVC and all 15 of our member institutions remain committed to prioritizing the health and welfare for all students, faculty, and staff, as well as, for the citizens that reside in the community that supports each school.”  

 

Dr. Robert Manuel, University of Indianapolis President and Chair of the GLVC Council of Presidents, echoed those sentiments:

 

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the GLVC Council of Presidents and league athletics directors for the leadership they have shown during the vetting and decision-making process during these challenging times,” said Manuel. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans, and those in our campus communities has been, and will continue to be, paramount throughout these unprecedented times.”

 

The GLVC becomes the 11th of the 23 NCAA Division II conferences to postpone fall competition. The NCAA has yet to determine the final status of its fall national championships.

 

The GLVC’s scheduling committee will soon begin to determine second-semester, regular-season schedule models for all affected sports with health and safety, as well as, institutional facility, personnel, and cost-containment measures in mind. In addition, dates and locations for all GLVC Championships will be announced at a later date.

 

Crossroads League To Continue Assessing Its Situation



AVON, Ohio. – Crossroads League Commissioner, Larry DeSimpelare, issued the following statement on Monday while addressing the league’s plans for the upcoming fall sports seasons.

“The Crossroads League supports the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) governing body and the difficult decisions being made around the country. Our Council of Presidents and Athletic Directors continue to meet and assess competition within the Crossroads League. The Crossroads League is committed to holding athletic contests for the 2020-2021 school year. The commitment follows the current guidelines established by our local and state health departments, the Centers of Disease Control and the NAIA. If changes occur within any of these organizations, the Crossroads League will assess recommendations and make appropriate adjustments to our planned schedule of athletic competitions.

 “Our administrators and leaders have been tremendous advocates for the health, safety and well-being of all coaches, support personnel and student-athletes. The Crossroads League is committed to providing the best practices available to maintain safety and health of our student-athletes and athletic personnel.

“We will continue to monitor this situation daily and diligently work to fulfil our obligation to our members and student-athletes to explore all options for competition, with health and safety as a priority.”

Members of the Crossroads League within Indiana include Grace College in Winona Lake, Bethel University in Mishawaka, Goshen College, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Marian University in Indianapolis, Taylor University in Upland and University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne.