UWG along with the rest of the Gulf South Conference (GSC) has postponed fall semester sports competitions until at least Jan. 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Football, volleyball, basketball and soccer are among the sports that are canceled. UWG and GSC announced this decision on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Before the postponement, the Wolves football team was scheduled to play at Carson-Newman in its season opener on Sep. 3.
“No athletic teams are currently doing any countable athletic-related activities (CARA),” said Assistant Athletic Director, Matt Cooke.
CARA is a NCAA term that refers to all required practice, strength and conditioning and team meetings during the season.
According to the GSC statement on the Fall 2020 season, one of the reasons for the postponement is based on the document released by the NCAA stating mandated protocols about which sports are identified as high risk.
The NCAA recognizes golf and cross country as low contact and medium contact risk sports. As stated by the “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition,”low contact risk and medium risk sports are defined as sports that can effectively fulfill the physical distancing and the safe practices during all activities related to the sport. High contact risk sports are labeled an extreme risk because of the unlikeliness of maintaining the physical distancing and universal masking mandated for practice and competition. The document goes in detail about the guidelines regarding testing protocols, strategies for transitioning periods, and procedures for low, medium and high contact risk sports.
Both men’s and women’s golf and cross-country are the only exceptions of the postponement. Cross country has been permitted to play a full season this fall with an altered schedule for the championship while golf has been permitted to play the non-championship part of their schedule. According to UWG Athletics, a schedule has yet to be posted.
“The priority for the athletic department is to navigate through the mandates that we have been given in the ‘Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition,”said Cooke. “Details relating to future competitions have not been released, but they are in discussion.”