University of Lynchburg athletics, in conjunction with fellow Old Dominion Athletic Conference members, has decided to postpone traditional fall intercollegiate competition through the end of the 2020 calendar year due to ongoing community spread of the novel coronavirus.
The ODAC’s presidents council reached that conclusion this week following ongoing efforts by the board of directors to navigate the ever-changing guidance from the NCAA Sport Science Institute related to testing prior to external competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Our sports medicine team has done a great job tracking all the guidance from the NCAA, CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in an effort to design a plan that will put our student-athletes and staff in a position to maximize safety,” Lynchburg director of athletics Jon Waters said. “As guidance related to external travel and competition has evolved, we feel the opportunity to slide sports with fall championships as well as the first part of the winter seasons to after the new year is the safest alternative.”
Each of the Hornet programs will have practice and training opportunities throughout the fall, with possible fall competition for programs identified as low contact, low risk by the NCAA SSI. Those programs include equestrian, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis.
“Our goal for the fall will be to continue to invest in our students’ success academically, socially, and physically in a way that delivers everyone to the starting line in January ready for a special start to 2021,” Waters said. “I know that our teams will be up to the tests that lie ahead and that conquering these challenges together will make us even stronger.”
University of Lynchburg continues to prepare for a return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester with classes beginning Aug. 12. The University’s plan offers detailed safety measures and protocols to prevent community spread around campus, including required face coverings and social distancing measures in common areas around campus. The academic model will be a hybrid of in-person instruction, and the semester’s calendar was condensed to finish prior to Thanksgiving.
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