The Golden State Athletic Conference announced the delay of some fall sports Thursday, which will impact conference play for Westmont College volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.
The announcement comes two days after the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the postponement of fall sports until the spring. The exact schedule for volleyball and soccer is yet to be determined, though conference play will be delayed until Jan. 1, 2021. The decision does not affect non-conference play or limit practices, according to Ron Smith, sports information director for Westmont.
“The climate around the global pandemic has unfortunately not improved in areas of California over the past few weeks,” GSAC commissioner Mike Daniels said in a statement. “We held out a lot of hope to conduct the fall sports during their normal calendar months, but that is not feasible any longer.”
As part of Wednesday’s decision, the GSAC Cross Country Championships have been left as scheduled, as postponement would have created an interference with the indoor and outdoor track and field season.
“Assuming clearance from state and local officials, Westmont’s cross country teams will compete in meets during the fall in advance of the GSAC Championships,” Smith said.
Dates for the men’s and women’s soccer tournaments will be adjusted to take place after regular season games have concluded. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the GSAC voted to not conduct a volleyball championship. Instead, the GSAC’s automatic berth into the NAIA Volleyball Championship will be granted to the regular season conference champions.
No dates have been set for fall sports championships, though current discussions have centered on conducting the tournaments in April.
By doing so, those championships would be scheduled between the winter sports championships, which would include basketball, swimming and indoor track and field. The winter championships would be conducted in March. The spring sports championships, including baseball, tennis, golf, outdoor track and field, would be held in May.
“The decisions made by the NAIA this week, and those announced by the GSAC today, provide maximum flexibility for our fall programs,” said Westmont’s athletic director Dave Odell. “The soccer and volleyball programs will be able to begin practice in the fall and schedule non-conference games, providing it is safe to do so. While healthy and safety is our first concern, we are committed to offering our student-athletes as full a college athletics experience as possible during these unprecedented times.”
Men’s and women’s basketball were unaffected by the GSAC announcement, with both teams still scheduled to begin play in November.