Atlantic 10 Conference postpones fall soccer season
The Atlantic 10 Conference has postponed the fall soccer season, and established two potential methods for re-scheduling competition.
Although the season has been officially called off for now, A-10 leadership has established a 60-day “look-in window” which will allow for a reassessment in mid-September. If health and safety conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are met, the league may end up playing an abbreviated season which would start later in the fall.
If the season is not able to to resume after the “look in window” in September, the next step will be to attempt to play fall sports during the spring of 2021.
Back in May, the A-10 had already announced a reduction in the total number of games for the upcoming season, and decided to condense its conference tournaments into a single weekend.
A total of 14 universities make up the Atlantic 10 Conference, spanning the Eastern Seaboard and into the Midwest: Davidson (NC), Dayton (OH), Duquesne (PA), Fordham (NY), George Mason (VA), George Washington (DC), La Salle (PA), Rhode Island (RI), VCU (VA), UMass (MA), Richmond (VA), St. Bonaventure (NY), Saint Louis (MO) and Saint Joseph’s (PA).
See below for the full statement released by the A-10 on Friday:
NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – The Atlantic 10 Conference today announced the postponement of all scheduled fall contests in conference-sponsored sports and A-10 championships due to the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic. This includes men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball. 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 league intends to conduct a competitive schedule for the fall sports in the 2021 spring semester. Details on the rescheduling of contests and championships will be announced at a later date. 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 and institutional leadership have agreed to a “look-in window” mid-September, allowing for a potentially truncated competitive schedule amongst conference opponents if the COVID-19 risk has substantially been reduced. The reinstatement of conference competitions following the look-in window would require medical and institutional protocols that would assure the safety of student-athletes, staff and the campus community. If COVID-19 risk levels do not improve, the teams and student-athletes will continue training and practicing while attending classes and prepare for a spring 2021 competitive schedule.
Upon their return to campus, teams will have the opportunity to train and practice under the approved safety protocols established in partnership with the league, each institution and local public health experts. Modifications to practice and organized team activities are already underway, and will allow each student-athlete the opportunity to recondition and hone their athletic skills while remaining focused on their scheduled academic pursuits.
The competitive schedules for winter sports (other than swimming and diving fall contests) will remain unchanged at this time. As a basketball-centric conference, the league acknowledged basketball contests begin in November, however determined it would be premature to make decisions on their competitive schedules at this date. Addressing the immediate return of fall sport student-athletes was the priority in working with every institution’s campus to assure a safe return to school with an opportunity to compete in the winter and spring sports as well as the postponed fall sports competitions.