OCAA suspends varsity sports for remainder of 2020

Jun 9, 2020 | News, Sports

Humber Hawks men’s soccer, seen here celebrating a goal, is among the teams idled this term by COVID-19. (File Photo)
Kritika Bhau

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) announced yesterday it will suspend varsity athletics and recreational activities for the 2020 fall semester.

The suspension affects varsity sports schedules for baseball, softball, rugby, rugby sevens, outdoor soccer, golf and cross country running at OCAA’s 27 member schools.

In the GTA, this includes Humber College, George Brown College, Seneca College and University of Toronto Mississauga.

The overseeing body said it made the decision due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety of the entire OCAA membership and our participants is our top priority, but we understand and share the deep disappointment this especially causes for our 4,000 student-athletes,” Nathan McFadden, president of the OCAA, said in a news release.

“We will get through this, and when we resume competition, the viability of the OCAA will be more important than ever before in uniting both our campuses and communities together in sport,” he said.

The OCAA said it is analyzing the pandemic on an ongoing basis and will make decisions based on public health and safety guidelines.

Jason Hunter, vice president of students and institutional planning at Humber, issued a statement yesterday in support of the OCAA’s decision.

“Varsity sports is an important part of the overall experience here on our campus. It was a difficult decision, but the right one to make,” Hunter said.

“The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. To our athletes and employees who are affected by this decision, appreciate you and we are here to support you,” he said.

The OCAA said basketball, volleyball, badminton, curling and indoor soccer will take place for the winter 2021 semester with shortened schedules.

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) also announced yesterday the cancellation of all sports programming and championships until Dec. 31, 2020.

The OUA’s fall programming was to include football, cross-country, golf, soccer, baseball, rowing, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey and tennis.

Varsity hockey schedules for men and women are unaffected because they fall under the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).