SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Council of Presidents (COP) met on Tuesday, July 21, and are releasing the following statement regarding the fall sports season for 2020:
The GPAC Council of Presidents (COP) announced the league’s intention to move forward with fall sports for 2020. The GPAC also encourages the NAIA to permit conferences, where possible, to move forward with fall sports at this time.
The health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and communities in the GPAC is our top priority. The GPAC is taking all necessary actions to help our campuses and communities address this public health crisis. We remain committed to providing a positive and safe experience for our GPAC student-athletes.
The GPAC will continue to closely monitor and adjust as necessary to protect the health and safety of all involved in GPAC athletics.
The GPAC Return to Play Task Force has been working to create policy and best practices for screening and monitoring the virus for our member schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force is comprised of individuals from member institutions of the league, and reports to the GPAC COP. Information will be forthcoming from the task force in early August.
The GPAC has established that student-athletes may begin practice (as defined by the NAIA) no earlier than Saturday, August 15, 2020.
Competition, both conference and non-conference, may begin no earlier than Saturday, September 5, 2020, in the sports of volleyball, soccer, cross country, tennis, baseball, and softball. Football competition will start no earlier than Saturday, September 12.
“Today’s statement shows our intentions to move forward as a league and have intercollegiate athletics this fall,” said GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra. “The GPAC will continue to closely monitor the everchanging landscape of Covid-19 as it relates to athletics at our member campuses this upcoming fall.”