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NAIA announces plan for fall athletic seasons

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 19:31:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On June 4, the NAIA Council of Presidents Executive Committee sent a release to member schools outlining the plans for the 2020 fall sports season.

The NAIA is requiring about half of the schools to be cleared by local and state governments to begin the 2020 fall sports seasons. For example, there are 95 members that participate in football. When 47 of those schools receive local clearance to play, the NAIA will authorize the beginning of football season.

The start date for practices will be on Aug. 15. From June 4 to Aug. 14, no schools will be allowed to hold an organized practice. The NAIA did say in the release that "conditioning activities, as long as they are not 'practices,' are not restricted and can take place at any time, in keeping with any institutional guidelines."

"Beginning on August 15, student-athletes may practice consistent with any health and safety protocols your institution deems necessary," the NAIA told member schools. "While practices can begin August 15, only individuals identified with your institution can participate in these practices. No scrimmages, exhibitions, or competitions of any kind that involve individuals not identified with your institution may take place prior to the competition start date."

If the number of NAIA schools to authorize a fall sports season is met, all sports, except for football, will begin games on Sept. 5. Football season will begin on Sept. 12.

Due to the later starting date, the NAIA also opted to shorten all fall sports seasons. Cross country will be allowed seven meets; football will get a nine-game season; men's and women's soccer will play 14 games; and volleyball will be allotted 22 games.

Though there is no way to be certain of the future in this landscape, the representatives of the NAIA said in the release they are optimistic they will be able to host national championships at the end of the fall season.

There are no changes to the winter season right now, but that is subject to change in the future.