ST. LOUIS, Mo. | The American Midwest Conference (AMC) Council of Presidents's met on Friday and voted to move forward with the fall sports season as currently scheduled, giving Hannibal-LaGrange University athletics department more certainty weeks before the season begins.
The move to go forward with the season as currently scheduled includes both regular season conference and non-conference play, as well as the conference postseason championships.
“Our goal throughout the summer, as we looked towards the fall, was to find a way to provide our student-athletes as great an athletic and educational experience possible in a manner that also kept that priority,” said AMC Commissioner Will Wolper. “With the unknown of what the fall and spring may look like, our presidents, based on what we know today, believe this is the best way to proceed.”
The decision by the AMC follows the NAIA Council of Presidents' decision to postpone fall national championships to spring 2021, but grant conferences and institutions autonomy to make decisions regarding competition in the fall.
Throughout the summer, the AMC developed return to play protocols to ensure as safe of an environment as possible when practices and games start.
In light of the NAIA and AMC recent decisions, along with the constant changes of the coronavirus pandemic, these protocols will continue to be updated. The AMC and all of its member institutions will have a COVID-19 page on their respective websites that will include the protocols and other relevant information to student-athletes, parents and fans.
Wolper said safety was the top priority for the AMC as they move forward with the fall sports season.
“We are certainly in an unprecedented time and a situation where circumstances are changing daily, if not quicker,” Wolper said. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and campus communities is the number one priority for everyone across the AMC.”
The Council of Presidents kept open the possibility of moving competitions to the spring if they cannot be completed in the fall. Lyon College is the only AMC institution to date to announce its intentions not to compete this fall, as the college moves to an online-only format for the fall semester.
The NAIA also approved action from the Conference Executive Committee to move all conference basketball games to after Jan. 1, 2021. Schools will have the ability to determine their non-conference schedule during the fall semester.
AMC governing bodies will continue to meet to evaluate necessary changes to the schedule, as well as parameters for competition and any other changes to winter and spring sports seasons.
HLGU's fall sports season is scheduled to open on Saturday, Sept. 5 for men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer and volleyball.