HCAC announces modifications to Earlham College’s fall sports season
July 27, 2020
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Council of Presidents has decided to delay the start of the fall season for “high contact risk” sports out of concern for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Conference play for Earlham’s NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball programs will be moved to the spring. Fall sports student-athletes will still have the opportunity to participate in a number of team activities in the fall, while following NCAA guidelines regarding resocialization of sport coupled with a new NCAA waiver allowing greater flexibility in scheduling competition and other athletically related activities.
Based on their risk classifications as assigned by the NCAA, women’s golf and cross country will progress forward with their fall seasons and HCAC championships as scheduled.
“The decisions on shifting the competitive seasons for these high contact risk sports came after careful analysis of whether HCAC institutions could successfully fulfill NCAA testing recommendations without drawing vital health resources from their local communities,” the HCAC Council of Presidents said in a statement.
“In addition, the conference feels that as continued scientific and testing gains are made with respect to the COVID-19 virus, a spring season for the high contact risk sports will be safer for our student-athletes.”
“We are working with coaches so they can maximize opportunities to engage with their student-athletes while preparing for the safe resumption of competition,” said Julie Kline, Earlham associate vice president and senior director of athletics.
The HCAC Council of Presidents has not yet made a determination about competition in winter sports, which includes men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s indoor track & field.
The Conference is also working with its men’s golf coaches to determine if the HCAC Championship should be moved to the Fall. The possibility of shifting some baseball contests to the Fall will also be explored.
Earlham’s field hockey team, which is a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference, was previously informed that their fall season had been suspended.
“This is a situation that will likely require additional modifications to our competitive season,” Earlham President Anne Houtman said. “We are monitoring the situation in real time. Our number one commitment continues to be the health and well-being of our entire campus community.”
Earlham has announced extensive protocols for maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff. Visit earlham.edu/coronavirus for the latest on the College’s response to the pandemic.
Brian Zimmerman, director of media relations