Westmont College and the other members of the Golden State Athletic Conference will be moving their fall sports regular seasons in women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer to early 2021.
“The climate around the global pandemic has unfortunately not improved in areas of California over the past few weeks,” GSAC Commissioner Mike Daniels said in a statement. “We held out a lot of hope to conduct the fall sports during their normal calendar months, but that is not feasible any longer.”
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, of which Westmont and the GSAC are members, earlier this week announced it was postponing fall sports until the spring.
The GSAC has yet to determine dates in 2021 when it will conduct conference competition for volleyball and soccer.
The NAIA has not announced dates for fall sport national championships. There have been discussions on possibly conducting those tournaments in April. That would place those championships between the winter sports championships (basketball, swimming, and indoor track and field) conducted in March and the spring sports championships (baseball, tennis, golf, and outdoor track and field) held in May.
The GSAC regular season conference competition for volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer does not affect non-conference play or limit practices.
“The decisions made by the NAIA this week and those announced by the GSAC today provide maximum flexibility for our fall programs,” Westmont Athletic Director Dave Odell said. “The soccer and volleyball programs will be able to begin practice in the fall and schedule non-conference games, providing it is safe to do so. While healthy and safety is our first concern, we are committed to offering our student-athletes as full a college athletics experience as possible during these unprecedented times.”
The dates of the GSAC men’s and women’s soccer tournaments will be conducted after regular season games have concluded. Women’s volleyball coaches elected to not have a conference tournament. The regular-season champion will earn the GSAC’s automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships.
The GSAC decided to leave its cross country season in the fall. The conference said that postponing the post-season championships to the spring would interfere with the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons.
If there is clearance from state and local officials, Westmont’s cross-country teams will compete in meets during the fall in advance of the GSAC Championships.
The GSAC announcement didn’t affect the men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Both teams are scheduled to begin play in November.
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.