NCAA Announces Cancellation of Division II, III Fall Sports Championships, Swimming Unaffected

Photo Courtesy: Emily Cheng

The Division II & III President’s Council announced on Wednesday the cancellation of Division II & III fall sports championships for this upcoming season. The big decision is not all that surprising, since a lot of Division III schools had announced they would not be playing sports this fall anyway, but it is nonetheless important to note that this could jeopardize Division I as well.

Fall sports include cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo.

Although this decision does not affect swimming directly, winter sports championships only come a few months after the fall, with a lot of the sports seasons starting in September and October. The decision on winter sports remains to be seen, as it would be a devastating blow to those student athletes in those sports get cancelled championships two years in a row.

Will the Division II & III decision also affect Division I fall sports? Division I football has been cleared to play, but many schools are allowing other sports to continue while COVID cases are still rising in the United States. Division I must determine a decision by August 21 whether its fall sports seasons and championships should occur this year, as outlined by the NCAA.

The NCAA Board of Governors also announced today the regulations for schools and conferences to adhere to if they choose to participate in fall sports this upcoming semester.

The requirements include:

  • All fall sports activity (preseason, regular season and postseason) must follow the recently released return-to-sport guidelines from the NCAA Sport Science Institute for all athletic activity. As the guidelines change based on the ever-changing pandemic, schools must follow any future modifications.
  • The NCAA will establish a phone number and email to allow college athletes, parents or others to report alleged failures. The Association will notify school and conference administrators, who will be expected to take immediate action.
  • All member schools must adhere to federal, state and local guidelines related to COVID-19. Further, the conduct of NCAA championships must be in line with federal, state and local guidelines.
  • All student-athletes must be allowed to opt out of participation due to concerns about contracting COVID-19. If a college athlete chooses to opt out, that individual’s athletics scholarship commitment must be honored by the college or university.
  • Each division must determine no later than Aug. 14 the eligibility accommodations that must be made for student-athletes who opt out of participating this fall or for those whose seasons are canceled or cut short due to COVID-19. College athletes and their families must know what their eligibility status will be before beginning the fall season.
  • Member schools may not require student-athletes to waive their legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletics participation.
  • Member schools, in conjunction with existing insurance standards, must cover COVID-19 related medical expenses for student-athletes to prevent out-of-pocket expenses for college athletes and their families.
  • Any NCAA fall championship or other postseason contests must be conducted within enhanced safety protocols for student-athletes and essential athletics personnel. These safety enhancements will include regular testing, separation of college athletes and essential personnel from all other nonessential personnel, and physical distancing and masking policies during all aspects of noncompetition.
  • NCAA championships may use reduced bracketing, a reduced number of competitors, predetermined sites and, where appropriate, single sites to limit exposure to COVID-19.
  • If 50% or more of eligible teams in a particular sport in a division cancel their fall season, there will be no fall NCAA championship in that sport in that division.
  • If fall sports championships are postponed in any division, a decision to conduct that championship at a later date will be based upon the scientific data available at that time regarding COVID-19, along with other considerations.


  1. David Moreno

    Maybe showing a water polo pic wood have been more on target than a swimming pic?

  2. Ryan Connell

    So much for 14 days to flatten the curve…

  3. Tina Evans

    Beginning to think these sports ruling bodies are not for the athletes at all.

  4. Cheri Domitrz Zimdars

    Not shocking, but the title dropped off: NCAA Announces Cancellation of Division III Fall Sports Championships, Swimming Unaffected

  5. Paul Mahar

    Swimming World for God’s Sake, please stop! We have many kids reading your articles. Why would you put a swimming picture on a fall sport article?! College swimming is considered “winter” sport!

    It would’ve helped if you lead with one of the sports that are considered Fall sports. Then talk about the hopes of having swimming. These articles are misleading!

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Not so everywhere, Paul… for example, Girls’ swimming is a fall sport in Washington and elsewhere in the U.S. Swimming is generally considered a winter sport for HS – but is not exclusively so, as the threads on many articles on this topic clearly indicates.

    • Cheryl Blenk

      Paul Mahar totally agree! That was terrible Swimming World

    • Paul Mahar

      Cheryl Blenk we’ve been dealing with these articles for 5 months from SW to SwimSwam! They need to do better for our children.

    • Lisa Alcorn

      Paul Mahar YES! Their agenda is straight from fake media

    • Jacki Nabor

      Paul Mahar agreed! Swimswam posted the same crap! Scared me as we are on the road to Auburn right now! Let’s go!!!! War Eagle!!!!!

    • Paul Mahar

      Jacki Nabor the people we count on to give updates to all of us but more importantly our children are not doing the right thing. Fortunately and/or unfortunately, kids from 8 to 18 have social media at their fingertips. These specialized sites should be doing their best to build our sport with the “right” news & achievements. Period!!

    • Kyle Shadeck

      Paul Mahar OR how about teach kids (and everyone else for that matter) to actually read the full article and stop treating an article title and image as the only info needed. I really think a lot of you guys are reading far too heavily into this

    • Paul Mahar

      Kyle Shadeck I see you’re the 1 guy! Ok, I’ll play! It only took me 1 minute on this search engine called Google. I guess the other 30 plus people that made comments on this are all wrong.

      All 7 steps are well explained but please take a closer look at 1,2 ,6 & 7.
      Enjoy, I really don’t enjoy fighting.

    • Kyle Shadeck

      Paul Mahar I just think with everything going on in the world lately is this really worth getting THAT worked up about?

    • Paul Mahar

      Kyle Shadeck good reply. I thought your first post was more of an attack instead of a question. As you probably have seen, that’s where our world has gone to. ?

      The reason why many of us are upset with these articles are for the right reasons.
      Please reread my first post.

      These sites have been writing articles that just bring more emotion, as what you stated to where we all are emotionally in this crazy world, to our younger generations.

      Children’s lives are developed by their experiences. I have no clue how old you are but children’s brains are not developed enough to handle these stressful situations.
      So with many of our younger generations, I was just asking to be careful with headlines & information.
      We need to figure out as a nation how we are going to help all our children deal with these times. They will NOT be able to do this by themselves.

      We all can try to be our best each day we wake!

    • Kyle Shadeck

      Paul Mahar agreed. I majored in psychology so I am aware how this stuff can affect children. However, I believe that does not mean outlets like swimmingworld should necessarily sugar coat or censor news and info just to protect children that may be reading this. What I meant was that parents should encourage their kids to read the whole story and ask questions to gather all the facts they can before making conclusions (granted that may be asking a lot for the especially younger kids, but in my opinion if they’re that young they shouldn’t have access to this type of technology in the first place but that’s a whole different discussion). I do see the point you’re making and I see it is for the right reasons, but given that I personally know the author of the article, I can assure you nothing malicious was intended

    • Paul Mahar

      Kyle Shadeck I definitely can see & understand your points. I actually thought the inside of the article was well done. Unfortunately the picture & headline which is part of step 7 didn’t do the article justice.

      I bet you a rootbeer your friend didn’t even choose the picture attached. It probably was done by someone else. If this article had the same headline and a picture of waterp polo, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Which I’m pleased that we can call it a conversation! ?

      Be safe!

    • Deborah Koch-Glosson

      Paul Mahar Thank you! My daughter is swimming in college and there is enough stress- I would like a positive article like even something about good chlorine levels- anything positive!

  6. Ja Bounce

    I would like to see ANY/ALL current testing of Athletes/Chlorinated pools correlations FOR/AGAINST why this decision necessary… All U.S Aquatic Facilities should have SOME results!!! Most pools hold Chlorine levels 1.0 and 1.5 parts per million (some as high as 3.0) to maintain a healthy pool. Also please consider other factors – Age of Facility, HVAC systems, Bather load Type Chlorine/Ozone, Indoor/Outdoor, Quality of the Water ( Let’s be honest on this one SOME areas U.S. / Internationally have better quality water). The other concern/Issue I have is the “Specialist” used has NOT been involved with anything water related since 2017 – {Bio here] Not knocking his skill set BUT he from Rome so I feel many folks would like to see U.S. Testing 1st before pool closures (IMO)…

  7. Linda Friedberg Carballo

    Click bait! If you open the article, it’s says swimming unaffected!!! Shame on you Swimming World!