The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference has been granted approval to draft schedules and prepare for the delivery of a 2021-22 season.
“Although a measure of uncertainty currently remains about the future state of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is optimism about a return to on-campus, in-person activities by fall 2021,” an ACAC said in a press release Friday.
ACAC has proposed a plan that will transition from this past season of complete cancellation to the cautious and measured re-introduction of post-secondary sport in 2021-22. The long-term objective is to position the ACAC to deliver a more customary season of sport by 2022-23.
This upcoming season, outdoor sports – soccer, cross-country running and golf – will commence no sooner than Sept. 17.
Indoor tournament sports – curling, badminton, futsal and indoor track – will be played exclusively in the Winter 2022 semester, which begins in January.
Indoor league sports – basketball, hockey and volleyball – will begin no sooner than Nov. 12, but may be delayed until Jan. 14. A decision about the start date for indoor league sports will be confirmed by Aug. 30.
All schedules will be reduced and playoff formats will be modified during this transition season. Tentative schedules are being developed, with the objective to circulate and approve as soon as possible.
Travel will be reduced. Geographic divisional alignments may be adjusted to reduce travel. Decisions to host or participate in national championship events will be confirmed at a later date.
“Institutions will maintain independent authority to determine the date when student-athletes in any sport can commence on-campus training and practices,” the ACAC said.
“ACAC members will retain the option at any time to withdraw from any or all ACAC sport participation at any time for any reason, without sanction or penalty.”
No spectators will be permitted at ACAC indoor competitions until further notice.
Further information will be circulated as planning for the 2021-22 ACAC season evolves.
“Protecting the health, safety, and well-being of both the campus community as well as the population at large, remains paramount.
“Furthermore, no post-secondary sport programming will commence without approval from Alberta Health and Saskatchewan Health authorities, and the ACAC is committed to strict adherence to all government and campus protocols, policies and practices that reduces the transmission of COVID-19.”