GNAC Announces Plans For Spring Seasons For Fall Sports

Friday, January 8, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – After careful review of the assorted challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to better serve the needs of its membership, the Management Council of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference has approved institutional autonomy in scheduling for the spring 2021 seasons for men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and cross country.

“Given our extensive footprint and the variety of local challenges related to the pandemic, the decision regarding fall sports was taken in the best interests of the student-athletes and our member institutions,” said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. “Since our institutions are affected in different ways, untethering our membership from continually changing conference schedules provides the best opportunity for those seeking to provide meaningful competitive opportunities to their student-athletes to do so.”

As the independent scheduling format is intended to provide maximum flexibility to the GNAC’s member institutions, the Council also decided that the conference will not declare regular-season champions or conduct postseason championships in volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer or cross country.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GNAC voted in July to postpone the conference’s fall seasons. The athletic directors of the conference’s football institutions voted in September to not play a conference schedule in that sport during the 2020-21 academic year.

The conference also determined that its leadership councils will meet in mid-February to assess conference scheduling in the sports of baseball and softball and well as evaluate the viability of conference postseason championship events in baseball, softball, golf, outdoor track and field and rowing.

The recommendations of the Management Council were approved by the GNAC’s CEO Board.