The NJCAA made the announcement on Tuesday, July 14 that fall sports for 2020 will be moved to the spring of 2020. East Central College will move its men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball seasons into an abbreviated format in the spring semester.
Planning for the spring has begun and the seasons will be compacted into two months with restrictions on the amount of regular season games that can be played. Men’s and women’s soccer will be allowed to played 14 regular season games with the NJCAA Region 16 tournament starting on May 11 and May 12 respectively. Teams going deep into the playoffs and the national tournament will be playing after classes have concluded. The NJCAA national tournament format will remain similar to the past , but be held in early June.
The women’s volleyball season will start in February and the Region 16 DII Tournament will be held March 26 & 27 in Kansas City, Missouri at the MCCKC campus in Longview. The amount of play dates have been restricted and rescheduling of tournaments will most likely need to occur. Many of the tournaments will turn into tri-matches in order to get mathces in the short span while still committed to conference and region schedules.
Spring sports will be effected slightly as the softball season will be reduced by a 10% amount in total dates played. This won’t have much of an effect on softball as long as the season is allowed to be played. Last spring was an unprecedented season as the ECC Falcons were able to play 10 games before their season was shutdown.
This is uncharted territory for NJCAA athletics and we will see how the seasons will look condensed into short time spans. It will take a great deal of patience and resilience on the part of the players, coaches, officials, athletic trainers and athletic directors to be able to maneuver through the obstacles of COVID to continue playing this spring. Success may be measured differently this spring with just being able to play as one of the main goals for each college.