ACC pushes fall soccer competition start date until at least September 10
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has postponed the start of its fall soccer season until the week of September 7-12.
Thursday, Sept. 10 will be the first day that competition will be allowed to take place. Previously, the ACC had delayed its competition date to Sept. 1.
Men’s and women’s soccer teams in the ACC will play 6 conference games this season, meeting the minimum NCAA requirements. Each university will also be able to schedule additional conference and non-conference competition at their discretion.
The ACC women’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 6 and 8, as previously announced. The ACC men’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 13 and 15.
On the men’s soccer side, the ACC features the following 12 programs: Clemson, Wake Forest, NC State, Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia, Pitt, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Duke.
There are 14 women’s soccer teams in the ACC: North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Louisville, NC State, Duke, Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Miami, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Boston College.
See below for the statement released by the ACC:
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference recognizes the uncertain and challenging environment all areas of our society are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intercollegiate athletics is just one area that we must address as we work to return to our campuses, bring back students and faculty when possible, and pursue our academic missions and goals as part of higher education. The health, safety and well-being of all our campus constituents is at the forefront of all decisions.
With this in mind, the ACC Board of Directors announced that if public health guidance allows, all seven ACC sponsored fall sports will begin competition during the week of Sept. 7-12. The announcement follows several months of discussion and scenario planning among the league membership and Medical Advisory Group. Each decision is based on the best available medical guidelines and coincides with our universities’ academic missions.
“As we look ahead to the fall, the safety of our students, staff and overall campus community continues to be our top priority,” said Kent Syverud, Chancellor of Syracuse University and the Chair of the ACC Board of Directors. “Today’s announcement outlines a specific path for ACC fall sports to return to intercollegiate athletic competition using comprehensive protocols put forward by our ACC Medical Advisory Group. As a league, we understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information evolves in conjunction with local and state health guidelines.”
“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”
The ACC’s Medical Advisory Group, which has been meeting weekly since the spring to share information on the impact of COVID-19 on ACC campuses and intercollegiate athletics, has recommended minimum standards for each campus to follow as fall sports return. Among those recommendations are weekly testing for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing competition areas. The full report is available HERE.
Information specific to 2020 competition for both football and the league’s Olympic Sports is included below. The league’s leadership, and its medical advisory group, will continue to meet on a weekly basis to share information and discuss medical issues related to the ACC’s return to play. Should any future adjustments be necessary, the ACC Board of Directors will do so at the appropriate time.
ACC Fall Olympic Sports:
- Fall Olympic Sports competition may begin on Thursday, Sept. 10
- Team sports will play a conference schedule that meets the NCAA minimum amount of games: field hockey (6), women’s soccer (6), men’s soccer (6) and volleyball (10)
- Schools will continue to schedule regular season cross country competitions at their discretion
- Any additional games against conference opponents or non-conference opponents are at the respective school’s discretion and all opponents must meet the ACC’s medical standards
- Any additional games against conference opponents that are beyond the conference-mandated schedules would not count in the ACC standings
- The schedule for ACC Fall Championships
- The cross country championships will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on October 30, and include all fifteen member schools
- The field hockey championship will be held at Duke University on November 5, 6 and 8
- The women’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 6 and 8, as previously announced
- The men’s soccer championship will include the top four teams and be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on November 13 and 15
- Television selections via the ACC’s partnership with ESPN and ACC Network will be made in the future.