Central describes the possible spring times for postponed sports

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PELLA — Modified Spring Schedule Concepts for the College’s four postponed fall sports are taking shape.

The football, men’s and women’s football and volleyball seasons for American Rivers Conference schools were postponed to August 11 due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as demands Return to play complexes outlined in the NCAA action plan. The competitions will be held this fall in men’s and women’s cross-country Central, women’s golf, women’s tennis and triathlon with adjusted schedules.

The conference now intends to tentatively schedule three league football matches in the spring with the ability for institutions to play up to five matches. No conference champion will be determined. A round robin schedule of eight conference games to determine league champions is offered for both men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball, with the option of playing non-conference competitions. No post-season conference tournament will be held and the NCAA has earlier canceled all of the Division III fall athletic championships. Junior university competitions in each of the four sports will be permitted.

Schedules will not be announced until the spring academic calendars for each of the league’s institutions are finalized. These times could be changed if conditions warrant. Institutions are free to withdraw from the competition at any time, and Central President Mark Putnam has said that while planning is prudent, those plans could change.

“The health and well-being of every student-athlete will always be our primary concern,” Putnam said. “We hope to be able to provide limited competitive opportunities in these four sports and do so in a safe and responsible manner. However, we will remain cautious and deliberate in our approach as we continue to learn and assess in all aspects of campus life. How we operate will be dictated by many factors, including conditions on campus, in Marion County, Iowa and beyond, as well as NCAA requirements and availability, efficiency and the affordability of improved testing procedures.

Teams will compete in less than 50% of the maximum competitions / competition dates for each sport, ensuring student-athletes the opportunity to extend their varsity career in athletics by one season. On July 8, the NCAA Division III Administrative Committee approved a recommendation from the Division III Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee to provide a blanket waiver in all sports that cannot meet the 50% threshold. . Changing the criteria for a seasonal participation waiver ensures that student-athletes retain the option of having four full seasons of participation opportunities.

Central recently announced that the winter track and field season will not begin until after January 1, allowing the college to focus on safely concluding fall athletic campaigns while giving staff and sports teams winter more time to implement NCAA-approved resocialization practices and improved testing procedures. . Winter sports schedules are not yet finalized.

The core teams of the four postponed fall sports are currently holding tightly structured small-group training sessions. No scrum or physical contact is allowed yet.

Central follows safety guidelines and protocols established by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Marion County Public Health, Pella Regional Health Center, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Central is working with healthcare professionals to help reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. The athletics department is under the direction of its physician, the college leadership team, and state and local health agencies. Central also relies on the guidelines outlined in the NCAA’s Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition:
https://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/resocialization-collegiate-sport-developing-standards-practice-and-competition

Updates and resources on the college’s efforts to maintain a healthy community can be found at central.edu/health.

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