In light of several schools and conferences cancelling fall sports, the NCAA Division III Management Council has approved a proposal that will allow flexibility in conducting practices and competition for fall sports through the spring.
Recommended by the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee, the proposal waives the current bylaw parameters and allows schools to define the season by a certain number of days, rather than weeks, and those days do not have to occur in consecutive weeks. The measure applies to all sports.
“As Division III institutions and conferences continue to contemplate what it will take to safely resume intercollegiate athletics, one consistency amidst a lot of uncertainty is that flexibility will be imperative,” said Heather Benning, chair of the Management Council and executive director of the Midwest Conference. “These are unprecedented times, and they are challenging us to think ‘out of the box’ and encouraging us to think about how our business can be conducted in ways we haven’t historically done.”
Among the Division III member schools and conferences to announce the cancellation of fall sports are Kenyon College, MIT, the NESCAC conference and the Centennial Conference.
This action will allow these schools and conferences to keep their athletes engaged through the academic year and suspend activities due to health concerns if need be.
“The recommendation to allow for more leniency in the application of the traditional playing weeks model should go a long way toward meeting member schools where they are it in terms of ability to safely allow for the start, pause and potential resumption of seasons,” Benning said.
The Management Council has also made a recommendation to the NCAA Board of Governors, who will next meet on July 24, to cancel the Division III fall championships due to COVID-19.