Canadian college sport fall nationwide championships are being cancelled in response to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.
U Sports activities introduced Monday it’s cancelling the ladies’s subject hockey, males’s and ladies’s cross-country operating, males’s and ladies’s soccer, ladies’s rugby, and soccer championships, together with the nationwide semifinals (the Mitchell and Uteck Bowls) and the Vanier Cup.
The hosts of the cancelled fall 2020 nationwide championships may have the chance to host in future years.
“The height for scholar athletes are the nationwide championships. I am very saddened. I am saddened for the scholar athletes and coaches,” Lisette Johnson-Stapley, chief sport officer for U Sports activities, informed CBC Sports activities.
One of the vital distinguished sports activities affected is the lads’s soccer season and its championship sport, the Vanier Cup, initially scheduled for November. It is going to be the primary time the sport has not been contested because it started in 1965.
“It is no secret it is one among our most prestigious championships. That was a troublesome determination however made with the steerage of medical specialists weighing in,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned. “College students are planning proper now. We would have liked to do that now. It was the suitable time to get them advance discover.”
Whereas U Sports activities has cancelled the nationwide championships, it is as much as the 4 conferences throughout the nation to determine how they wish to transfer ahead with their common seasons and convention championships.
“So far as convention play, that is of their jurisdiction to make these choices,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned. “It is exhausting to say for the time being if they’re going to play.”
Almost 20,000 scholar athletes affected
There are 56 U Sports activities faculties in Canada with almost 20,000 scholar athletes competing. The faculties are organized into 4 conferences — the Atlantic College Sport Convention (AUS), Canada West Convention (CW), Ontario College Athletics Convention (OUA) and the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
“All of the conferences are totally different. Ontario is a big province. Canada West has various provinces. There are journey restrictions within the AUS,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned.
Johnson-Stapley mentioned U Sports activities made the determination to cancel the entire fall nationwide championships primarily based on the steerage of various totally different committees together with regional illustration, presidents of universities and medical specialists.
Eligibility a query mark
The autumn cancellations imply the winter calendar is prone to be affected, with officers already hinting at shortening the hockey and basketball seasons.
“We have addressed it considerably however no choices made but,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned. “It is nonetheless too early. We nonetheless have to attend some time and see what occurs.”
And whereas so many query marks encompass the upcoming U Sports activities calendar all through the complete 12 months, the main target is rapidly shifting to how scholar eligibility will probably be impacted.
“Eligibility is one other large piece of it and why we got here out now with this determination at this time,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned. “There are a couple of items of eligibility that we have addressed proper now, however as you possibly can think about it is a whole lot of work. We can’t be charging eligibility for this upcoming season due to not with the ability to have nationwide championships. We’re engaged on it little by little.”
What that precisely means for athletes getting into their closing 12 months remains to be being determined.
“Particularly on the fifth years, that needs to be mentioned additional,” Johnson-Stapley mentioned.
Canada West has already modified schedule
On Sunday, a number of reviews surfaced relating to the Canada West convention making ready to cancel its fall program. An official announcement on that can also be anticipated Monday.
Canada West, which covers B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, was the primary of the nation’s conferences to handle what this upcoming season would possibly appear to be. A number of weeks in the past, the convention made the choice to alter its schedules to restrict journey and preserve budgets.
The soccer schedule had been shortened from eight regular-season video games to 5, whereas different sports activities like soccer, basketball, volleyball and hockey would compete extra continuously in opposition to faculties inside their province or regional space.
Nearly all of final season’s U Sports activities calendar was accomplished. Nonetheless, the lads’s and ladies’s Canadian college hockey championships have been within the midst of competitors when U Sports activities cancelled each tournaments on March 12, a day after the worldwide pandemic was declared.