Due to the ongoing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, high school and college sports leagues across the country are being forced to alter their 2020 fall sports seasons, or outright cancel them.
Below is a rundown of the latest status of leagues and conferences that impact teams in the Northland.
Minnesota State High School League
Soccer, cross country, girls tennis and girls swimming and diving are the only sports taking place this fall. Football and volleyball have been moved to the late winter/early spring between the winter and what will be a shortened spring season.
The fate of fall state tournaments are yet to be determined.
Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
The WIAA has given schools the option to either play this fall, or take part in an alternate fall season during late winter and early spring. There will be no state tournaments, however, for the alternate fall season.
Superior is delaying its football and volleyball seasons, while continuing with cross country, girls golf, girls swimming and girls tennis this fall. Northwestern will play its fall sports in the fall of 2020, though only against conference opponents.
The National Federation of State High School Associations has compiled a roundup of fall sports updates from across the country. As of Aug. 25, 36 states and the District of Columbia have announced delays or alterations to their fall sports seasons. Of those, 16 states and the District of Columbia will not play football in the fall.
The NCAA announced on Aug. 5 that all Division II and Division II fall sports championship events have been canceled, though leagues and individual schools may continue to play in the fall of 2020 if they meet the requirements issued by the NCAA Board of Governors.
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
The NSIC, home of Minnesota Duluth's Div. II sports, has not only canceled the 2020 fall sports season, but suspended all athletic competitions until Jan. 1, 2021. The league is looking into the potential of conducting the canceled fall seasons in the spring of 2021.
Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
The NCAA Division III home of St. Scholastica (until 2021-22) and Wisconsin-Superior has now canceled all conference competition for the fall of 2020 and is pursuing the possibility of holding those seasons now in the spring.
Schools are still allowed to take part in competition outside the conference, though both the Saints and Yellowjackets have said they will not.
Other NCAA Division II and III leagues
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — future home of St. Scholastica athletics starting in 2021-22 — announced on July 28 it is moving the majority of its fall sports to the spring.
Elsewhere in Division III, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced on July 27 it has canceled the 2020-21 football, women’s soccer, volleyball, and cross country seasons. Women’s tennis and women’s golf have been postponed to the spring.
In Division II, the GLIAC has suspended all competition through the end of 2020 while the Great Lakes Valley Conference has postponed the majority of fall sports to the second semester.
NCAA.com has a running list of COVID-19 news and schedule changes here.
In Division III hockey, the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association — home of the St. Scholastica men and women — announced it will not play league games prior to Jan. 1. Nonconference play will remain at the discretion of the individual schools.
The WIAC — the home of the Wisconsin-Superior men and women — has made no announcements about hockey.
For the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs, neither the NCHC (men) or WCHA (women) have announced changes for the 2020-21 seasons, however, there have been changes in scheduling.
The UMD men’s hockey program has pushed the Ice Breaker Tournament at Amsoil Arena back to 2021 and a nonconference flight for a series at UMass-Lowell has been replaced by a nonconference bus trip for a series at Northern Michigan.
The UMD women’s program has also eliminated all nonconference flights for the 2020-21 season and will likely play an almost exclusively WCHA schedule this year, though no formal announcement has been made yet by the school or league.
The six Ivy League members of ECAC Hockey have suspended play until Jan. 1, 2021, leading to a push by teams out east to suspend all conference play in Division I college hockey until Jan. 1.
This story was last updated at 3:55 on Aug. 25 with the latest information about high school and college sports. It was originally posted at 3:21 p.m. on Jul 28, 2020.