NELSONVILLE, Ohio – Fall sports at Hocking College and other junior colleges are shifting to the spring semester as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
Following the recommendations from the National Junior College Athletic Association Presidential Advisory Council and the NJCAA Board of Regents, the NJCAA announced its adjusted plan of action for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year on Monday, July 13.
The plan shifts all close-contact fall sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer and court volleyball, to the spring semester. Cross country, half marathon and Division III women’s tennis will remain in the fall. Hocking College offers only football and volleyball in the fall.
“This is the decision I had been hoping for over the last few months,” Ken Hoffman, director of athletics for Hocking College, said. “Our number one concern is — and always will be — the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff and community. This gives us the best opportunity to give our student-athletes a quality experience while keeping everyone as safe as possible during these days when coronavirus infections are spiking around the country. Perhaps we will even have a vaccine by spring semester, which would once again allow for attendance at athletic events without fear of spreading the virus.”
Hoffman said the NJCAA plan allows for 60 days of consecutive practice in the fall for Hocking College’s football, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball. The teams will have scrimmages, but Hoffman said those would all be intra-squad games and not against other schools.
Hocking College’s other sports — archery, cheerleading, equestrian, eSports — will practice as usual. Hoffman said their competitions would be determined on a case-by-case basis, with most of them taking place in the spring.
Volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball will begin their seasons in late January and conclude by early April, while football will start in late March and run through early May.
Volleyball will be limited to 21 matches, basketball to 22 games and football to eight games.
Student-athletes will be notified of the changes by their coach and contact their coach or the Athletics Department staff if they have any questions.