The Division III Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Conference will only allow its teams to compete against each other this fall, rather than travel for or host non-conference play, in an attempt to safely return to collegiate athletics amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, a sport will have to be hosted by at least four SCIAC institutions to allow for fall play. The conference regulations are subject any additional restrictions from member institutions as well as state and local governments.
The SCIAC includes teams from nine campuses: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer, Occidental College, the University of La Verne, Whittier College, Caltech, Cal Lutheran, Chapman University and the University of Redlands. The schools are all within about an hour of each other.
“While institutional decisions on the return to athletics are still pending, the Presidents’ Council agreed that any permitted or approved competition will be conference-only in the fall,” the conference announced. “Due to the close geographic proximity of SCIAC institutions, should health conditions allow, the conference is uniquely positioned to provide a meaningful and competitive experience. Additionally, the Presidents’ Council determined a minimal number of at least four SCIAC institutions to sponsor a sport for conference play to occur.”
The conference is home to a couple of the top Division III water polo programs in the country. Whittier and CMS faced off in the inaugural Division III Water Polo National Championship last winter, with Whittier (which hosted) coming out on top.
On the swimming & diving side, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer are perennial top-20 teams in the country, with the Sagehen men leading the way at seventh at the 2019 Division III NCAA Swimming & Division Championships