HALIFAX, NS – At last, the AUS seems to be within grasp of playing for the first time since early December.
The conference announced Friday it intends to return to play in New Brunswick beginning Feb. 11 for hockey and volleyball teams. Two men’s hockey, four women’s hockey and two women’s volleyball teams will be able to jump into action on that date, given nothing else goes sideways.
This decision came after New Brunswick announced an easing of restrictions beginning tomorrow. The AUS anticipates a further easing of restrictions by Feb. 11.
In addition, the conference said league play in Nova Scotia could resume “as early as the weekend of Feb. 18.” This will impact five universities in the province. Nova Scotia recently extended its current public health restrictions to Feb. 14. The restrictions prohibit games and competitions, but not indoor training between up to 10 people.
There is no word on when Memorial from Newfoundland and Labrador or UPEI from Prince Edward Island could rejoin conference play. They find themselves in different situations as incoming travellers to each province are required to self-isolate for at least four days upon entry.
The dates announced today bring into question key dates in the early February schedule. For instance, the AUS swimming championships are scheduled from Feb. 11-13 at Memorial, a school not expected to be open for AUS business by then. The final day of the hockey regular seasons is Feb. 12, while basketball and volleyball are scheduled to wrap up their schedules by Feb. 19.
All of those dates seem subject to change, as addressed in a statement from the AUS two weeks ago stating the conference’s intention at “exploring every possible option” so play resumes.
More to come.