NCRHA Releases Statement Regarding 2020-2021 SeasonAugust 25th, 2020 at 1:55PM August 25th, 2020 7:14PM
As we reach traditional “back to campus” time, when clubs begin their preparation for the year and for the start of the NCRHA regular season play, we find ourselves in unprecedented circumstances. As with everything else thus far in 2020, it is unfortunately apparent that the 2020-21 collegiate club roller hockey season will not resemble anything that has come before. There are still many unknowns at this point. The NCRHA has been in contact with the club sports departments of its member institutions since the spring and throughout the summer. Our goal at this point in the calendar is to provide you as much college roller hockey as possible during the 2020-2021 academic year.
To do so will require us to navigate the shifting winds of the many colleges and universities that are in various states of change and decision-making in relation to their method of instruction, campus life, club sports participation, and other important items. As we must first focus on the safety and well-being of our student athletes, the NCRHA will be planning and making decisions within the constraints established by local, state, and federal guidelines, as well as the policies adopted by the individual colleges and universities involved across the country.
In a survey sent to Club Sports Directors at all NCRHA-participating colleges and universities, the NCRHA asked a series of questions related to Fall 2020 start dates, method of instruction and club sports participation. In those results, the overwhelming majority have stated that their club sports teams will be unable to compete until January 1, 2021, and even then, there is and will continue to be uncertainty whether that will be possible due to the often-changing COVID-19 situation. We do not believe that nationwide collegiate roller hockey season play will be possible until at least January 1, 2021. Therefore, we will not begin play in any of our conferences before the new year. We also recognize that some clubs may be able and wanting to play collegiate roller hockey during the fall semester, and if possible, the NCRHA and its conferences will provide optional opportunities for clubs that are interested and have permission from their college/university to participate.
As of this moment, the NCRHA plans to begin conference play to the degree possible in the spring semester, followed by a National Championships in April 2021 in Fort Myers, FL. This will of course have to be a condensed, possibly shortened season than seasons past, and if circumstances dictate may need to be even further shortened. Accordingly, the need to decrease the number of regular season games required for post-season qualification will also need to be addressed. The dates for Nationals are currently April 14-18, 2021, but the dates and/or location could also change if necessary. The bottom line is that we are exploring ways to create a meaningful season and Championships, despite the necessity of a shorter season length.
Between now and the eventual season start, the NCRHA will continue to stay in touch with Club Sports Directors across the country. Once we attempt to begin play, either exhibition play in the fall or conference play in the spring, we will be releasing Return to Play Guidelines based on CDC guidelines for sports and sporting organizations, plus local and state requirements of any event location plus those of any clubs that are participating. As always, the health and safety of our players, coaches and fans will be of paramount concern.
Should you have any questions about the 2020-2021 season, please have your team representative or club president contact the NCRHA Executive Director, Brennan Edwards, at [email protected] and also your Conference Director, who may be more aware of COVID-19 policies in your area.
In the meantime, we will be staying in touch with all of our players, coaches, and fans via the NCRHA.org website, NCRHA social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and the NCRHA TV platform that we launched during the 2019-2020 season. Stay tuned to all of those channels for more information!