GODFREY – Following a July 13 vote by its Board of Regents, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) will move most Fall 2020 athletics to the Spring 2021 semester.
“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student athletes,” NJCAA President and CEO Christopher Parker said. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place.”
For member school Lewis and Clark Community College, which fields three of the league’s fall sports (men’s and women’s soccer, along with court volleyball), the change will limit teams to 60 consecutive dates on which fall practices can be held between Aug. 15 and Nov. 15. Soccer teams will be allowed two fall scrimmage games (four total) and court volleyball will be allowed three fall scrimmages (five total).
L&C Athletic Director Doug Stotler believes the delay will allow time to educate student athletes and coaches on how to protect themselves.
“This plan put forth by the NJCAA clears a path for all of our L&C sports to compete in the spring, provided the virus can be managed safely within our college community,” he said. “There is still much work to be done internally within the athletics department and at L&C to conform with the protocols that the medical community recommends.”
The move will delay the start of winter sports, including Trailblazers men’s and women’s basketball, which usually begin in November, to January 2021, with most playoff games moving from March to April.
Soccer teams can begin spring practices on March 15, with competition beginning on April 2. The seasons will have a maximum of 14 games, with all region and district games to be completed May 24. Men’s and women’s soccer championships will begin June 2.
Court volleyball will begin spring practices Jan. 11, with competition beginning on Jan. 29. The season will have a maximum of 21 competition dates, with all season, region and district games completed by April 11. Championships will be held April 15-17.
L&C baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s golf, which are traditional spring sports, will remain intact with a few minor adjustments at this time.
For more news and information on Trailblazers Athletics, visit www.lc.edu/athletics.