Hamilton, NESCAC cancel 2020-21 winter sports season

Hamilton, NESCAC cancel 2020-21 winter sports season

Hamilton College and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) have announced that they are canceling intercollegiate athletics competition for the 2020-21 winter season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The College's official statement about the winter season can be found below. Please click here for the NESCAC statement and here for the Hamilton College COVID-19 updates page. Hamilton's winter sports include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey, men's and women's indoor track & field, men's and women's squash, and men's and women's swimming & diving. Neither the College nor the conference have made a decision regarding the 2021 spring sport season.

Hamilton College Message on Winter 2020-21 Intercollegiate Athletics Competition

The presidents of the New England Small College Athletic Conference have voted unanimously to extend the current suspension of intercollegiate conference competition to the winter 2020-21 season. The decision for Hamilton applies to both varsity and club sports.

In making this determination, the presidents prioritized the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the local communities in which the colleges are located, and acknowledged that modifications to each institution's academic calendar mean most students will not be on campus in December and January when the majority of the winter season takes place. Attempting to start the winter season on or around February 1 is not possible because many students traveling back to campus would still have to fulfill 14-day quarantine requirements instituted by several states (including New York) and teams would need to follow NCAA phasing requirements to reach full play. Although the NESCAC decision applies specifically to conference competition, Hamilton has reached the difficult conclusion that any intercollegiate competition for winter sports teams is not practical.

Consistent with directives from the presidents and our own experience this fall, Hamilton will continue allowing students to participate in what the conference describes as "practice activities, strength and conditioning, skill development and leadership programming in accordance with NCAA, Conference and institutional policies, as well as state and local health guidelines."

My colleagues and I in the Athletics and Physical Education Department recognize the difficult situation that has resulted from the ongoing pandemic, and we share our students' disappointment with the suspension of intercollegiate sports competitions. Nevertheless, we remain committed to providing alternative fitness and athletic activities that are safe and beneficial for our students.

Jon Hind '80
Athletics Director and Professor of Physical Education