Vancouver, BC – You can start counting down the days. On Wednesday morning, Ontario University Athletics announced the schedules for the 2021-22 fall-semester sports seasons, marking a return to competition for the first time since March 2020.
Atlantic University Sport and Canada West released schedules for each of their conference sport and championships last week, and the OUA has joined them today. The RSEQ also announced plans for a return-to-sport, unveiling their 2021 football schedule.
The OUA released their altered competition formats for the coming season last week, and those can be found HERE. Canada West also features similar competition alterations. The AUS will not have any format changes for the 2021-22 season. In addition to conference announcements, U SPORTS confirmed the hosts for the upcoming National Championships, which can be found HERE.
While Wednesday’s OUA announcement only featured the fall sports of soccer, football, field hockey and rugby, the conference will announce the other sports schedules in the coming days.
OUA competition will get underway with a big day of football on Sept. 18, with each of the teams kicking off their shortened seasons. Soccer soon follows, with the Guelph Gryphons men’s and women’s teams visiting the Windsor Lancers on Sept 22.
“Even though our schedule was shortened, it does not take any excitement away knowing that we’ll be getting back on the field year and getting a sense of normalcy back,” said Chloe Zomparelli of the Rams women’s soccer team, who open their season on Sept. 25 against the Toronto Varsity Blues.
Canada West competition will begin on Sept. 4, with women’s soccer marking the return to sport. The Alberta Pandas will visit their Edmonton rivals, the MacEwan Griffins, while the Calgary Dinos face their cowtown rivals at Mount Royal.
Soccer also marks the beginning of the AUS seasons, with St.FX and UPEI kicking off against each other on Sept. 10, the same day that the conference’s football preseason begins.
For football in the RSEQ, gameplay gets underway in late August, as the Montreal Carabins and Sherbrooke Vert et Or play the first competitive university game of 2021.
Championship sports also return in 2021; however, at time of writing, only Canada West has announced exact dates.
The 2021-22 U SPORTS seasons will look different from the status quo. Still, after a season with no games to play or national championships to vie for, the return is welcome for university sports athletes, staff and fans across the country.
This story will be updates with future schedule announcements.