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December 4, 2020

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HCAC Council of President’s vote to move forward to conduct winter sports competition in 2021

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released an update regarding the league’s response to the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, Nov. 13.

The HCAC Council of Presidents continues to weigh all medical information consistent with federal and state public health authorities, the NCAA, and institutional guidelines. Based on those current recommendations, the HCAC Council of President’s has voted to move forward with plans to conduct winter sports competition in 2021.

For indoor sports deemed as ‘high transmission risk’ by the NCAA’s COVID-19 guidelines, the conference will develop and approve modified schedules.  Those sports are men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. 

The HCAC intends to play these sports while following the NCAA recommended health standards and continuing to monitor changes in the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Council of Presidents also agreed to move forward with plans to conduct the conference’s other winter sports, following the guidelines that are recommended by the NCAA.

“The HCAC leadership continues to adjust and work towards finding ways to conduct safe competition, while adhering to public health officials, NCAA officials and institutional recommendations,” said HCAC Commissioner Jay Jones.

“We appreciate the continued patience and flexibility that our student-athletes, families and coaches have exhibited as we adjust to the ever-changing recommendations and necessary safety measures. We know the constant adjustments are not easy, but that is the only way to conduct safe athletic competition in this challenging environment.” 

The HCAC still anticipates conducting spring sports and fall sports (that were postponed and scheduled to compete this spring) in the spring of 2021. The Heartland continues to monitor the effects of the pandemic and is prepared to make necessary alterations to those schedules to allow for safe competition that meets all safety and health guidelines.

The Council of Presidents determined that the individual institutions within the HCAC will have the autonomy to mandate their own spectator policies at home athletic events. Institutions are continuing to develop those standards, and those policies will necessarily remain fluid as local, regional and state health guidelines are modified.