The Ontario University Athletics association, in conjunction with U SPORTS, the national governing body of university sport in Canada, have announced the cancellation of all league-sanctioned play, including championships, for fall 2020.
Winter sports, including hockey and volleyball, which typically kick off in the fall, will not commence before Friday, January 1, 2021, according to a statement from the OUA.
“It’s unfortunate but understandable that we won’t be playing sports this fall,” said the Royal Military College’s Director of Athletics Darren Cate. “But this is the right decision, given the circumstances, as the health and safety of our student-athletes must come first.”
According to a statement from RMC, Paladins women’s and men’s soccer programs, as well as the men’s rugby team, will not compete this fall as a result of the OUA’s decision. RMC’s remaining varsity programs will also have their seasons affected, as fencing, women’s and men’s volleyball, and hockey will not be able to compete before the new year.
Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation at Queen’s University, also released a statement on Twitter: “As a varsity community, we are all disappointed by this news, and we know how difficult and heart-breaking this is for our student athletes…We will be providing support to students during this difficult time and look forward to a return to play as soon as it is safe to do so.”
“Unprecedented times require unprecedented action, which is what led us to this difficult decision,” Chair of the OUA Board of Directors Dr. Mike DeGagné said. “The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans is our number one priority, and after significant consultation, we believe that OUA sport cannot be delivered prior to December 31st.”
The OUA has not yet made a final decision on the fate of university athletics into the winter term. According to their statement, the Sport Committee is putting contingency plans together for condensed seasons with a number of potential start dates in 2021. The conference has not ruled out the possibility of fall sports being played in some form next spring, either.