Somerset, NJ -- Northeast Conference (NEC) Commissioner Noreen Morris today issued updates on the 2021 NEC Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships and the status of fall sports based on guidance from the NEC Council of Presidents, who convened last week.
2021 NEC Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Update
The NEC Council of Presidents has voted to delay the 2021 NEC Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Championships to April 7-10, tentatively scheduled to take place at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, NY.
The shift to April was made to give the NEC a better opportunity to successfully conduct the championship, and provide a better seasonal and championship experience for swimming and diving student-athletes.
"There were a multitude of factors that were considered prior to making this decision to delay the NEC Swimming & Diving Championships," said Morris. "Given the New York state health and safety guidelines that restrict the number of bodies permitted on the pool deck, it is our hope that those mandates will be relaxed by the time we conduct the NEC Championships in April. The shift will also allow our swimming and diving student-athletes to return to campus following winter break at the same time as the general student body, a key to safely reopening our institutions this spring. Additionally, the move will provide additional training and competitive opportunities for our programs so they may safely work their way up to championship-caliber conditioning level."
Fall Sports Update
The NEC continues to explore and evaluate options, along with potential scheduling and championship models, to provide a meaningful competitive experience for fall sports during the spring semester. These sports include men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball.
Given the challenges, uncertainties and logistics that must be considered prior to making any decisions, the NEC Council of Presidents, in consultation with conference administrators and the NEC's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, have developed the following set of guiding principles to help determine the best approach moving forward:
- The health and safety of campus and conference communities remains our top priority
- Decision-making around the resumption of sports will be informed by campus policies; local state and national guidance/policies; and NCAA guidance/policies
- The conference will strive to provide as meaningful as possible competitive experiences given the COVID-19 challenges facing our institutions
- An emphasis will be placed on minimizing the impact on spring sport student-athletes
- Establish regular season start dates that allow fall sport student-athletes to return to campus for the spring semester in the same time frame as the general student population
- Reduce travel costs, whenever possible, during the regular season and postseason
- Institutions will be provided the discretion to schedule non-conference competition prior to the start of the NEC season
The NEC plans to make an announcement on its fall-to-spring plans in early December.