ACAC to explore options to conduct post-secondary athletics this winter and spring

The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference has decided to explore opportunities to conduct a season of post-secondary athletics this winter and spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACAC — the governing body for intercollegiate athletics in Alberta — made the decision during a special general meeting on Thursday.

It comes as U Sports announced Thursday it has cancelled its 2021 national tournaments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, swimming, track and field, volleyball and wrestling are the impacted sports.

Read more: Coronavirus: U Sports cancels remaining national championships in 2021 because of pandemic

In a media release Friday, the ACAC said it is working on a plan to safely deliver sport under strict Alberta Health Services Return to Sport protocols. A task force has been developed to explore all options to proceed with competition.

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The ACAC said its member institutions — which include more than a dozen post-secondary institutions including NAIT, SAIT and Concordia University of Edmonton — can still choose to withdraw from 2020-21 ACAC sport competition at any time without penalty.

The ACAC conference council also unanimously decided to withdraw from participation in all 2021 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships.

“The health concerns and logistical complexities involved in pan-provincial travel for ACAC student-athletes and teams was determined to be an unnecessary and unwarranted risk under the current conditions of the pandemic,” read a media release from the ACAC.

Click to play video 'Canada West cancels multiple conference competitions amid COVID-19 pandemic' Canada West cancels multiple conference competitions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Canada West cancels multiple conference competitions amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Fall 2020 season of competition was previously cancelled and some sports were tentatively rescheduled to spring 2021.

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