NJCAA Updated Plan of Action for 2020–21 Moves Several Sports to the Spring

NJCAA Updated Plan of Action for 2020–21 Moves Several Sports to the Spring

Jul 16, 2020

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Written by Frank B. Garrett and John “Jack” Klinker

On July 13th, the NJCAA announced its updated plan of action for the 2020–21 sports seasons based upon recommendations from the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Committee as well as recommendations and a vote by its Board of Regents. The sports most impacted by the updated plan are those involving close contact which typically occur during the fall semester. They include football, men’s and women’s soccer, and court volleyball. Under the plan, all close-contact fall sport competition seasons and championships have been moved to the spring.

Fall sports which do not involve close contact, such as women’s tennis, cross country, and half marathon, are scheduled to proceed during their respective fall competition seasons and championships. All winter sports are permitted to begin in January; however, most of their championship seasons have been moved from March to April. Scheduling of sports with spring competition seasons remains largely intact, with only minor adjustments as provided in the plan. The NJCAA’s plan also notes that all championship dates are subject to change based on facility availability but indicates that final championship dates will be confirmed by July 31, 2020. NJCAA member institutions will be notified of confirmed championship dates.

Beyond scheduling changes, the plan also provides additional information relative to student eligibility reporting, scrimmaging, and reporting of institutions’ plans for athletic activity during the 2020–21 academic year.

Under the plan, Colleges are only required to file eligibility for the fall 2020 semester for students participating in Division II Women’s Tennis, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Half Marathon, and Men’s and Women’s Bowling. Official eligibility must be filed in accordance with national bylaws prior to the first competition. Fall eligibility for golf and tennis must be filed when championship play of any kind takes place.

Finally, colleges are required to notify the NJCAA National Office regarding their intention for how to proceed with athletic activity during the 2020–21 academic year no later than July 27, 2020. Colleges should provide this notification through the NJCAA Connect portal.

For any questions related to the impact of NJCAA’s updated plan of action on your institution, please contact your Robbins Schwartz attorney.