The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which includes several Connecticut schools, has announced the cancellation of the fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced Friday.
Officials said in the announcement that the combination of social distancing protocols, limits on large gatherings and travel restrictions made it too difficult to safely organize a competitive season. NESCAC said it plans to modify rules so athletes and coaches will still be allowed practice and training opportunities outside the season.
NESCAC includes Connecticut College in New London, Trinity College in Hartford and Wesleyan University in Middletown as well as Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Tufts University, and Williams College and offers nearly 30 programs at the Division III level.
" As the pandemic evolves, we will continue to monitor changing federal, state, and local guidance, and we will consult with each other as well as public health authorities and the NCAA about the possibility of further changes to NESCAC rules," the announcement warned.
Colleges and universities across the country, as well as professional sports, have been grappling with the issues of whether they can safely hold events during the pandemic, and what changes, if any, can be made to allow for competition.
The Ivy League has also suspended fall sports due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the Northeast Conference has delayed the return to play.