Although we are still in graduation season, the new school year is set to begin again in just two months and many wonder whether that will include athletics. “The answer is yes, we are trying to offer them,” said Feather River College President Kevin Trutna. “It is important to reiterate that that local public health regulations still serve as the guideline, regardless of state plans.
The state’s community college association board unanimously approved a three-part plan last week to allow a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year while being directed by health guidelines from the state.
Following is a synopsis of the various plans; a decision about which plan will go into effect is set for July 17.
Here is a brief synopsis of each plan:
- Cross country, football, women’s golf, soccer, women’s volleyball, water polo and wrestling will compete during the fall. Competition will begin on Sept. 11 except for football (Sept. 26) and will allow for 75 percent of the maximum number of contests currently permitted. The season, including any regional championships, will end by Nov. 25.
- All the remaining sports (badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, men’s golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and men’s volleyball) will start competing on March 1 and finish by May 22.
Contact/Non contact plan
- Cross country, women’s golf, swimming and diving, and women’s volleyball – each considered as non-contact or minimal contact sports – will begin competition in mid-September and conclude by Nov. 25. Sports will be permitted 70 percent of their current maximum number of contests.
- Basketball, football, soccer, water polo and wrestling would begin competition on Feb. 13 and finish by April 17 while all other sports will start competing on April 10 and end by June 23. Volleyball will move to the spring and start competition on Feb. 13, if it is deemed to be unsafe to compete in the fall.
- Only cross country and women’s golf will stay in the fall and all others will go to the spring with regular-season competition capped at 70 percent of current levels. Basketball, football, soccer, women’s volleyball, water polo and wrestling will start competition in early February and finish by April 17 while the remaining sports will start on April 10 and end by June 23.
Impacts on athletic training, game management and other factors were considered during the decision-making process. Non-traditional sports seasons (e.g., fall baseball, etc.) and showcases will not be conducted in 2020-21.
Tournaments, meets and other multi-team competitions will be permitted provided county, district and/or institutional protocols are strictly followed for such events. Sports will also alter any rules and/or protocols to fit social distancing and any other practices where necessary. The California Community College Athletic Training Association (CCCATA) provided extensive information to the Working Group to help guide a safe return to practice and competition.
“Our goal is to have intercollegiate athletics next year if possible and if safe to do so for our students,” reiterated Trutna. “We are currently drafting plans for students to return to campus, enter the dorms, participate in athletics (and using the training facilities), classroom teaching, cleaning protocols, and use of the Fitness Center. These should be available soon and will be shared at that time.”