However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canada West and U Sports announced today that no conference competition will be happening during the first term of the 2020/21 season.
This includes football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s rugby 15s and women’s field hockey.
“We have a lot of empathy for our entire department and our student athletes who won’t have a seat in those sports. But we do know that decisions are grounded in good medical advice and science,” said Kavie Toor, UBC’s managing director of athletics and recreation.
The decision to proceed two-term sports, such as basketball, hockey and volleyball, prior to January 1, 2021 are to be made no later than October 8, 2020 along with decisions regarding second-term competitions, which include men’s and women’s track and field and women’s rugby 7s.
Canada West further states that the decisions regarding other first-term sports championships, such as swimming, golf and cross country, will be announced by July 15, 2020.
U SPORTS has also cancelled its six 2020 fall national championships.
“Although the Canadian sport system is working together to create evidence-based return to training, practice and competition protocols, it is not currently feasible or safe due to the COVID-19 Pandemic for U SPORTS to be able to offer fall championships given the academic realities of student-sport,” said Dr. Taryn Taylor, U SPORTS Chief Medical Officer and representative on the Own the Podium Return to Sport Task Force, in the statement made by U SPORTS.
These decisions will result in modifications for eligibility and regulations for financial aid.
“We are planning on honouring our student-athletes’ scholarships commitments for the year ahead. Obviously, it’s complex because it’s directly related to eligibility. So we’re supporting athletes if they want to push a year of eligibility. We’re confident we’ll continue on a high level of support for students,” Toor said.
Competitions may be cancelled, but T-Birds plan to continue training for competitions hopefully later in the year if COVID-19 resolves.
“Our department of the university is going to continue to keep the student-athletes’ down into the core of our decision making work and then we’ll be working with our coaching staff and our student athletes to create some level of regular training competition and competitive play,” Toor said.