Centennial Conference Update on Spring Sports

GETTYSBURG COLLEGE

With the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus communities as its top priority, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council continues to evaluate the possibility of spring conference competition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Following extensive discussions, the Presidents Council has agreed that it will defer any judgment for the moment to provide additional time to evaluate conditions on campuses and the evolution of the virus.

While the number of COVID cases has begun to decrease regionally and nationally, conditions are worse now than they were at the beginning of the fall semester. Additionally, new variants of the virus appear to be more contagious and more easily transmitted. The Presidents Council will closely monitor and evaluate the public health climate along with federal, state, and local guidelines in considering the potential for spring competition.

Centennial Conference athletic directors, sports medicine professionals, and conference officials are developing guidelines and protocols for a safe return to play, should circumstances permit. Alternate scheduling formats for conference play and championships are also being created. If conditions improve and a spring conference season takes place, it would likely not begin until late March and feature a truncated schedule.

Athletics is a valuable component to the student experience, and institutions will continue to find meaningful ways to engage student-athletes in athletic activities. The Presidents Council remains dedicated to evaluating all facets of this extremely complicated issue while making a final decision on spring conference competition in late February.

We recognize the importance of competition for our student-athletes and share the desire to have appropriate competition if circumstances permit.  Both with and independent of the league, we will, therefore, carefully evaluate a set of considerations, ranging from compliance of all individuals with health and safety protocols, the COVID-19 situation within the campus community and in society at large, the health of the student-athletes and staff, the safety measures being instituted by our opponents, and the effectiveness of travel protocols.

Ultimately, the College will make its judgment about competition informed by these and other considerations, and with the benefit of expert medical advice.  Because competition requires planning, we are currently working to identify schools that might be willing to compete if conditions allow, including as many Centennial Conference schools as we can. If competition can take place, it is not likely to begin before late March or early April.

Mike Mattia
Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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