Vancouver, BC- There will be no competitive university sport in much of Canada for the 2020-21 school year. The OUA and Canada West conferences announced Thursday the cancellation of all sanctioned sports for the Winter semester. The RSEQ has announced the cancellation of sporting activity until Jan.15, 2020.
The cancellation of winter seasons comes after the fall seasons were previously wiped with an announcement on June 8.
Canada West had previously stated an Oct. 8 deadline for their winter decision, but delayed that to Nov. 2, providing a chance for COVID-19 to trend down, however that has now been scrapped.
While the conferences are not sanctioning any sporting activities, members will be able to schedule exhibition games if local health authorities permit. This has already gone on in fall sports, with exhibition games for soccer and golf taking place.
No National Championships
U SPORTS also announced the cancellation of the winter championships, following up on the cancellation of the fall championships. While it may be safe to host such events in March, with no season, there was no way for participants to qualify. The athletic body previously stated that student-athletes who have had their championships cancelled will not be charged a year of eligibility, and that is still the case. The host schools for the fall 2020 championships were shifted to 2021, and a similar course of action may be taken for the winter.
AUS and RSEQ Could Still Play
The AUS, which is based in Canada’s “Atlantic Bubble” has not cancelled and has formed a committee to examine potential possibilities of a return-to-play. The RTP committee is comprised of an Athletic Director from each of the Atlantic provinces, as well as members from the AUS head office. An announcement of the board decision is expected in mid-November. The committee’s recommendations will consider each province’s public health directives and, will include contingency plans which account for evolving regulations.
The RSEQ has only cancelled sports until mid-January, allowing for a potential return to play then.
The OCAA, Ontario’s collegiate circuit also announced the cancellation of winter sports, which include badminton, basketball, curling, indoor soccer and volleyball.
49 Sports respects and believes in the decision of all four conferences and we will continue to tell the stories of Canadian university sport to the best of our abilities through these challenging times.
Cover Photo: University of Toronto