Centennial Conference Announces Suspension of Athletics for Fall Semester

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

The Centennial Conference Tuesday announced that it is suspending all intercollegiate athletics for the fall semester in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a sport like swimming, which takes place across the fall and spring semesters, the season is not officially cancelled, but fall competitions are. The Centennial Conference presidents will reevaluate conditions by the end of September.

From the statement:

Given health and other related concerns, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council has decided to suspend any inter-collegiate competition for sports scheduled for the fall semester. The presidents will reevaluate this decision by the end of September, based on work to be done by the Conference to assess sports-specific activities and the experiences on the schools’ campuses. The presidents have determined football will not be played in the fall. The Conference will also explore the possibility of shifting certain fall sports, including football, to the spring.   

The Centennial Conference, which competes in Division III, encompasses 11 private schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Eight schools sponsor women’s swimming, seven in men’s swimming.

One Centennial member, Swarthmore College, announced last week that it would suspend fall sports. That decision stemmed from a limited population (first-years, sophomores, incoming transfers, resident assistants) being on campus. At Swarthmore, fall sports were cancelled, while winter sports were put on hold until the spring semester begins in January, at the earliest.

From another member school, Franklin & Marshall, “the decision about winter and spring competition is to be determined later this fall.” Practices for winter sports like swimming can continue within compliance of NCAA, CDC and other health guidelines.

The Centennial Conference is one of the first nationwide to cancel athletics for the fall. The California College Athletic Association, a Division II league, cancelled fall sports in May.