NJCAA moves fall sports to spring of 2021 due to COVID-19

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The National Junior College Athletic Association voted today that all close-contact fall sports will be moved to the spring, according to Jimmy Rieves, Kilgore College athletic director.

The vote means that football, volleyball, soccer and the start of basketball will move to 2021 due to precautions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council’s proposal, football practice will begin March 1, 2021, with games beginning March 25. There will be a maximum of seven games allowed, with play wrapping up by May 15 and the NJCAA championship and bowl games beginning June 3.

This fall, junior colleges will be allowed to practice between Aug. 13 and Oct. 10, with two scrimmages allowed against outside competition if it is deemed safe by the institutions.

Men and women’s basketball will begin practice on Jan. 11, with basketball seasons starting on Jan. 29. A maximum 29-game regular season will end on March 27 and championships will begin on April 19.

The proposal would also shift the seasons for all other fall and winter sports.

“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA president & CEO.

“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. As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”

Spring sports competition remains intact with minor adjustments to dates. These sports include softball, baseball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, track and field and men’s and women’s tennis.

The NJCAA governs junior colleges throughout the nation with the exception of California, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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