The Lethbridge College Kodiaks are set to roar once again, as plans are underway to return to action later this year. The Kodiaks have joined the rest of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) in preparing plans for a 2021-22 athletic season.
The ACAC has been granted approval to draft schedules and commence preparations for the delivery of a 2021-22 post-secondary athletics season. The move comes with the endorsement of Presidents from all 17 ACAC member institutions.
Although a measure of uncertainty remains about the future state of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is optimism about a return to on-campus learning and in-person activities by Fall 2021. The ACAC has proposed a cautious and measured re-introduction of post-secondary sport in 2021-22 plan following a complete cancellation of the 2020-21 season. The long-term objective is to position the ACAC to deliver a more customary season of sport by 2022-23.
“We are very excited to explore how a safe return to play looks for the Kodiaks and the entire ACAC,” says Todd Caughlin, manager of Kodiaks Athletics. “Our student-athletes, coaches, trainers and administrative staff put in monumental efforts to stay engaged and in-action as well as possible, while following public health guidelines this past season. Our student-athletes learn important life skills through post-secondary athletics and have worked hard to earn the opportunity to compete once again.”
The ACAC has announced the following key elements of its schedule planning for 2021-22:
- The season will commence with outdoor sports (cross country, golf and soccer) no sooner than Sept. 17.
- Indoor tournament sports (badminton, curling, futsal and indoor track) will be played exclusively in the Winter 2022 semester, which begins in January.
- Indoor league sports (basketball, hockey and volleyball) will commence no sooner than Nov. 12 but may be delayed until Jan. 14.
- A decision about the start date for indoor league sports will be confirmed by Aug. 30.
- All schedules will be reduced and play-off formats will be modified during the 2021-22 transition season.
- Tentative schedules are being developed with the objective to circulate and approve as soon as possible.
- Travel will be reduced. Geographic divisional alignments may be adjusted to reduce travel.
- Decisions about ACAC participation or hosting of CCAA Championships will be confirmed at a later date.
- Institutions will maintain independent authority to determine the date when student-athletes in any sport can commence on-campus training and practices.
- ACAC members will retain the option to exercise Manifest Hardship at any time to withdraw from any or all ACAC sport participation at any time for any reason, without sanction or penalty.
- No spectators will be permitted at ACAC indoor competitions until further notice.
Further information will be circulated as planning for the 2021-22 ACAC season evolves.
Protecting the health, safety and well-being of both the campus community, as well as the population at large remains paramount. No post-secondary sport programming will commence without approval from Alberta Health Services and Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the ACAC is committed to strict adherence to all government and campus protocols, policies and practices that reduce the transmission of COVID-19.