Due to the concerns arising from all the challenges surrounding COVID-19, the PacWest Executive Board voted unanimously Thursday to postpone intercollegiate competition in PacWest fall sports until after January 1, 2021. PacWest fall sports include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The action was taken due to rapidly changing information and guidelines from the NCAA, as well as the states, counties, and areas where the 11 PacWest institutions compete.
“There were just too many barriers that were out there, including NCAA guidelines on testing. The restrictions were going to be very, very strict, as well as, huge spikes in numbers in California and the uncertainty of travel to Hawai’i and even spiking numbers locally in Hawai’i. All those contributed to this decision because many of the campuses were uncertain of how it would be able to protect the student athletes regarding health and safety. Ultimately, it was decided to error on the safe side and move the fall sports into the spring and have them compete after January 1st,” PacWest Comissioner, Bob Hogue told KHON2’s Alan Hoshida on Friday.
While this decision postpones fall 2020 sports competition, institutions will still be allowed to conduct organized team activities at their own discretion, including workouts, practices, strength and conditioning, and access to their athletic training staff, as local, county, and state guidelines permit. Options for moving fall sport schedules into the winter/spring are being developed and reviewed.
“Our hope obviously is to have a schedule and if that means team have to compete against other local teams in Hawaii or if you’re in the Bay Area you compete against Northern California teams or in Southern California against Southern California teams then we will do that. We want to create an experience for the student-athletes. We want there to be competition. There is a big key word going on in the NCAA right now, and that’s nimble. We are staying nimble and trying to come up with every conceivable idea that can put student athletes back on the field safely.”
A decision on the start of the 2020-21 winter sports season, as well as the non-championship segments of spring sports, is expected to be made by October 1.
“The reality is that, when you are that age, you know this is your one chance. You’re putting your heart and soul into it. It’s not just the physical preparation, it’s the mental preparation as well. We talk about the mental health of our student-athletes as well. It’s so important that we have opportunities for them. We have goals for them and we give them this chance. That’s why literally we want to leave no stone unturned so that we can give them this chance,” Hogue explained.
“This was a very difficult, but well-thought-out decision and one that so many individuals worked together on over the past several weeks. We’re appreciative of everyone’s efforts and look forward to a time when we can all be safely out on the field of play again.”