Sun | Oct 25, 2020

NCAA moves Fall Championships

Published:Monday | September 28, 2020 | 12:09 AM
In this file photo from June 2019, University of Arkansas’ Janeek Brown (left) edges out Louisiana State University’s Tonea Marshall (centre) and Southern California’s Chanel Brissett to win the women’s 100 hurdles during the NCAA outdoor track and
In this file photo from June 2019, University of Arkansas’ Janeek Brown (left) edges out Louisiana State University’s Tonea Marshall (centre) and Southern California’s Chanel Brissett to win the women’s 100 hurdles during the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Austin, Texas.
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The United States-based National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Division 1 Board of Directors have voted to move the 2020 Fall Championships to Spring 2021.

The sports affected by the decision taken amid the COVID-19 pandemic are cross country, field hockey, soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo.

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association fourth Vice-President Vilma Charlton said this was a good decision as it affects hundreds of Jamaican student athletes.

“I think it is a good move because I have to watch what the scientists are saying,” she said. So I don’t think I would blame the colleges if they say no to their programme, because ultimately, they would be liable, hopefully not, for any damage done.”

Charlton said it would be difficult to track where the athletes go and who they interact with unless they are isolated. She said it would be expensive to isolate all student athletes from every college and the NCAA may not be able to afford it, so it was wise of them to just push back the championships to next year.

The plan includes reducing team bracket sizes by 25 per cent, having predetermined championship sites, and reducing the number of preliminary-round sites as a precaution against the pandemic.

“The plan sent to us by the Division I Council provides the maximum number of opportunities to fall student athletes to participate in NCAA championships while still being fiscally responsible,” acting board chairperson Denise Trauth, president at Texas State University, said. “We look forward to the spring, understanding things will look a little different, but knowing the competitions will be just as meaningful as in normal circumstances.”

- Sharla Williams