The Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association made the following announcement on Tuesday, December 2, 2020:
After consultations with athletics directors and deliberation among the presidents of its member institutions, the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) has canceled the regular season and championships for the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the ACAA will allow member driven competition for the upcoming winter semester subject to public health directives.
The decision not to proceed with conference play and championships was made in response to the changing situation and restrictions in the individual provinces and across the region. In a conference call yesterday, the presidents of the ACAA institutions agreed that a prudent response to the current situation was to cancel conference competition for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball and badminton.
“From the outset, with our first priority being the safety of our students, we knew that current public health conditions and directives would be the primary determinant in our decision and that any competitions could be cancelled in the event of a new or worsening outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in our region. Unfortunately, that has proven to be the case,” said William Lahey, President and Vice Chancellor, University of King’s College who chaired the meeting.
Michael Eagles, Athletic Director at St. Thomas University and President of the ACAA, said that similar to Atlantic University Sport, the ACAA has left the door open for member driven play as determined by individual institutions and subject to public health directives and approved return to play plans for each sport.
Even though the ACAA fall season was cancelled, teams have been training through the fall semester and playing exhibition games, in compliance with public health directives. If member driven competition is feasible, it would be in the window of late January to mid-March.
Over the past weeks, the ACAA had developed a return to play plan modelled on the Atlantic University Sport approach and it thanked the AUS for sharing their work. The presidents also acknowledged the work of the ACAA Committee: chair Pierre Arsenault, Mount Allison University; June Lumsden, Mount Saint Vincent University; Albert Roche, Holland College; and Ron O’Flaherty, ACAA Executive Director.
The Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association is made up of ten member schools from across the Maritimes provinces, with five schools coming from New Brunswick – Crandall, Mount Allison, St. Thomas, UNB Saint John and UNB Fredericton; four schools from Nova Scotia – Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, Mount Saint Vincent, Universite Saint Anne and University of King’s College; and one from Prince Edward Island – Holland College.