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ACAA cancels winter sports

Dana Trainor, who normally plays libero for the Holland College Hurricanes, hits through the block Saturday during Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball action.
Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Dana Trainor, who normally plays libero for the Holland College Hurricanes, hits through the block during 2019-20 Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association volleyball action. Jason Malloy/The Guardian - SaltWire Network
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

There will be no university and collegiate winter sports in Atlantic Canada for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) recently announced it would not be going ahead with its winter sports and the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) made its announcement Wednesday in a news release.

The decision to cancel ACAA conference play and championships came in response to the changing situations in the Maritime provinces with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. School presidents made the decision on a conference call Tuesday.

“From the outset, with our first priority being the safety of our students, we knew that current public health conditions and directives would be the primary determinant in our decision and that any competitions could be cancelled, in the event of a new or worsening outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in our region,” said meeting chairman William Lahey, president and vice-chancellor of the University of King’s College. “Unfortunately, that has proven to be the case."

ACAA president and St. Thomas athletic director Michael Eagles said the ACAA, similar to the AUS, has left the door open for member-driven play as determined by individual institutions. It would be subject to public health directives and approved return-to-play plans for each sport.

Although the ACAA fall season was cancelled, teams have been training through the fall semester and playing exhibition games in compliance with public health directives. If member-driven competition is feasible, it would be in the window of late January to mid-March.

During the past weeks, the ACAA had developed a return-to-play plan modelled on the AUS approach, and it thanked the AUS for sharing its work.

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