CHESTERTOWN — The Centennial Conference Presidents Council announced Thursday, Dec. 10 that conference competition and championships for all fall and winter sports in 2020-21 were being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington College is one of the 11 charter members of the conference, which consists of small private institutions in Maryland and Pennsylvania. They all compete in NCAA Division III.
Sports impacted by this decision include cross country, field hockey, football, golf, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, indoor track and field, and wrestling.
In July, the conference’s Presidents Council suspended all intercollegiate competition for sports in the fall semester. This included traditional fall sports as well as the November and December portions of winter sports like swimming and basketball.
After last week’s announcement, Athletic Director Thad Moore said in a news release, “All of us at Washington College were hopeful that we would be able to play a Centennial Conference schedule and compete for fall and winter championships but unfortunately the circumstances surrounding the pandemic will not allow us this opportunity.”
From a conference statement: “Extensive strategies were evaluated as to how to safely and effectively conduct Conference competitions for fall and winter sports during the spring semester. Ultimately, a number of factors impacted this decision, including the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the shift of spring academic calendars to a later start, campus policies regarding travel, group size and visitors to campus, and the ability to meet recommended NCAA testing guidelines.”
A decision about the possibility of Centennial Conference spring sports competition will be evaluated in January.
In the news release, Moore left open the possibility that Washington’s fall and winter teams could compete against opponents outside the conference during the spring semester depending upon the coronavirus metrics.
The NCAA in October issued a blanket waiver that states all Division III student-athletes are able to participate in athletics during the 2020-21 academic year without being charged a season of participation or semesters of eligibility.