AUS to explore possible regional competition options for winter 2021 semester
Return-to Play Committee set to provide recommendations to AUS board of directors in early November
HALIFAX, N.S. - AUS has announced the formation of a new committee dedicated to exploring possible return-to-play options for the 2020-21 winter semester.
The AUS Return-To-Play Committee is comprised of one athletic director representing each of the four Atlantic provinces, as well as the director of sport programming from the AUS conference office. The committee will focus its efforts on the areas of health and safety, financial accountability, and travel concerns, and will provide its recommendations to the AUS board of directors by early November.
A board decision is then expected by mid-November.
"As we did in the fall, Acadia supports and respects the decisions U SPORTS and any regional associations have made. We know how much everyone loves sports and cares about our student-athletes across the country," noted Executive Director of Acadia Athletics Kevin Dickie.
"Although there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we're encouraged at Acadia that the potential is still there for an Atlantic University Sport season in the new year."
The committee's recommendations will take into consideration each province's current public health directives and, wherever possible, will include contingency plans which account for evolving government regulations.
"The remarkable success of the Atlantic Canadian bubble places our conference in a unique position nationally to consider options surrounding return-to-play," said AUS executive director Phil Currie. "And while we approach this committee with great optimism, we also know that we must exercise caution and vigilance with respect to public health guidelines."
"Our board of directors will have an important decision to make come November, and we will be supportive of that decision, understanding the many complex factors which will play into it."
Several updates were provided nationally today regarding the status of interuniversity sport across Canada during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has announced the cancellation of conference regular and postseason competition in the winter semester. Members may still be permitted to pursue exhibition play should applicable public health guidelines allow.
The RSEQ has suspended all university sport related activity until at least January 15, 2021.
Canada West has cancelled all conference regular season, playoff, and championship events scheduled for the winter semester involving team sports, while deferring a decision on individual sports to a later date. Members may still be permitted to pursue regional non-conference play should applicable public health guidelines allow.
U SPORTS has announced the cancellation of all national championships scheduled for the 2020-21 season's winter semester, citing concerns around student-athlete safety, hosting challenges, national travel, and more.
This step was taken following consultation with all four university sport conferences, and AUS respects and supports the decision of the U SPORTS board of directors.