The NJCAA, the governing body for junior college athletics, has made several key announcements concerning the upcoming 2020-21 sports season, which includes programs within Iowa Central.
The fall seasons will begin as planned, as will the spring at this time. However, changes have been made for the winter seasons.
The NJCAA National Office, along with the NJCAA Health and Safety Council, has also issued a list of safety protocol recommendations for member colleges during regular season competition and championship events.
Fall 2020 Sports Season
At this time, the NJCAA will proceed with fall championship sports beginning practice and competition as planned. For the following sports, the start date for practice will be August 1, 2020, and the first competition date will be August 20, 2020:
- Men's and Women's Cross Country
- Men's and Women's Half Marathon
- Men's and Women's Soccer
- Women's Tennis (Division III)
- Court Volleyball
Fall 2020 Championships
The NJCAA National Office and the Championship Events Committee have evaluated the championship locations awarded for the 2020-21 academic year in regards to student-athlete health and safety. Due to growing travel concerns and local re-opening regulations, the NJCAA National Office and Championship Events Committee are seeking new locations for the following championships:
- 2020 NJCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship
- 2020 NJCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship
- 2020 NJCAA Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships
- 2020 NJCAA Men's and Women's Half Marathon Championships
Originally scheduled for November 16-21, the 2020 NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship in Evans, GA will now be held from November 18-23. The change comes due to conflicts with the rescheduled 2020 Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA.
The NJCAA has provided safety protocol recommendations for fall championship hosts. For a full list of safety protocol recommendations for regular season competition, facilities and equipment, and fall championship hosts, visit: Safety Protocol Recommendations.
Fall 2020 Non-Championship Sports
To allow member colleges adequate time for proper health and safety precautions as student-athletes return to campus, the NJCAA will condense the fall non-championship season for the following sports:
- Beach Volleyball
- Men's and Women's Golf
- Men's and Women's Lacrosse
- Tennis (Division I Women's, Division I Men's, Division III Men's)
- The 2020-21 NJCAA Men's and Women's Basketball seasons will be permitted to begin practice starting September 14, 2020. Competition will be permitted to begin starting October 16, 2020. All member colleges are encouraged to adjust schedules as needed to limit competition between the Thanksgiving holiday and January 1, 2021.
- The 2020-21 NJCAA Wrestling season has been altered to protect the best interest for student-athlete health and safety. NJCAA Wrestling programs will be permitted to hold fall practice starting October 1, 2020, concluding October 31, 2020. Regular season practice will be permitted to begin starting January 1, 2021. Competition will be permitted to begin starting January 20, 2021. The 2021 NJCAA Wrestling Championship will be held April 23-24 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA.
- The 2020-21 NJCAA Men's and Women's Bowling, Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving, and Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field seasons will be permitted to begin practice starting October 1, 2020. Competition will be permitted to begin starting October 30, 2020. All member colleges are encouraged to adjust schedules as needed to limit competition between the Thanksgiving holiday and January 1, 2021.
Spring 2021 Sports Season
At this time, the NJCAA will proceed with spring championship sports beginning practice and competition as planned. As the spring season approaches, the NJCAA National Office will provide additional guidance on any possible changes as necessary.
Student-Athlete Return to Campus
For the 2020-21 academic year, NJCAA member schools will be permitted to open dorms to all student-athletes (fall, winter, spring sports) beginning July 18, 2020. The accelerated move-in date will allow member colleges to institute a 14-day quarantine period for student-athletes and implement extra safety precautions as necessary prior to the August 1 start date for fall practice.
For the year 2020-21 an exception will be allowed to Article V, Section 7 of the NJCAA Bylaws. This exception will allow member colleges to provide or pay for student-athlete COVID-19 testing, if they so choose. At this time, this exception will only apply for the 2020-21 academic year but will be reviewed as needed.
Tryouts and Auditions
To implement social distancing, an extension will be allowed for tryout and audition durations and maximums for fall 2020 sports only. Fall 2020 tryouts and auditions may be held over a two-day period with no more than 10 prospective student-athletes participating at a time. Auditions may not exceed two hours per individual.