Atlantic 10 fall sports postponed amid COVID-19 concerns

Atlantic 10 fall sports postponed amid COVID-19 concerns
The Atlantic 10 announced Friday it will postpone all fall sports conference competitions and championships until spring 2021.

The conference said it will include a “look-in-window” in mid-September to allow for a “potentially truncated competitive schedule amongst conference opponents if the COVID-19 risk has substantially been reduced.” If the risk levels do not improve, teams will continue training this fall to prepare to compete in the spring.

“Safety, health and the well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and the campus community at large is the primary concern and responsibility of the Atlantic 10 Conference and its member institutions,” the conference said in a statement.

The fall competitive schedules for men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and women’s rowing will also be postponed, as will non-traditional competition seasons for baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse.

The A-10, which is a basketball-centric conference, added it will not reach a decision on the winter sports schedule at this time.

In May, the conference condensed its 2020-21 sports calendar to minimize travel for seven sports amid the coronavirus pandemic. It approved to regionalize and condense conference schedules by 25% in field hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse. Conference championships for volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse were also reformatted to a four-team championship.

Several conferences around the country have also made changes to their fall sports schedules as their seasons, particularly football, are quickly approaching. On Monday, the Patriot League canceled all fall sports and said it would consider the possibility of conducting their games in the spring. Last week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced their football teams will play conference-only schedules in the fall, and the Ivy League voted to postpone all fall sports. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey voiced his concerns last Saturday about the upcoming football season and said, “We are running out of time to correct and get things right.”

The SEC, Big 12 and ACC anticipate a decision on their football seasons by late July.

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