CORONAVIRUS

American Rivers Conference delays winter sports competition until 2021

Indoor track and field can begin practice, while basketball and wrestling can open practice Oct. 1

Coe College's Josh Edel (left) works to get control of Loras College's Shane Liegel during their 184 lbs. third place ma
Coe College’s Josh Edel (left) works to get control of Loras College’s Shane Liegel during their 184 lbs. third place match at the NCAA Division III Lower Midwest Regional Wrestling Tournament at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa, on Sunday, March 1, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — American Rivers Conference officials are planning for winter sports.

The start of competition, however, will be later than normal.

The ARC announced Monday that the conference’s Presidents Council voted unanimously to approve a recommendation from the ARC Director of Athletics Council to delay any games, meets, scrimmages and exhibitions until Jan. 1, 2021. The news release noted the decision was made due to “ongoing impact of COVID-19."

“The ARC staff, our nine Presidents, the athletic training staffs, and athletic administrators and coaches at our schools are very hopeful to compete in our traditional winter sports after January 1,” Luther AD Renae Hartl shared with The Gazette. “As our campuses begin practices in these higher-contact sports next month, we will be able to navigate phasing with our practices and then we will hopefully be able to progress these sports to travel and compete safely.”

Basketball and wrestling will be allowed to begin practice Oct. 1, while indoor track and field can start working out immediately.

The conference also announced it will release schedules for postponed fall sports, which includes football, soccer and volleyball, by the end of the month. The ARC opted to move those sports to the spring. The conference has been able to conduct some events this fall, going forward with cross country, women’s golf and women’s tennis.

“As in all aspects of our students’ campus experience at Central this year, we are proceeding in a thoughtful and measured fashion,” Central College President Mark Putnam said in a release distributed by the school. “We’re pleased with the success we’ve seen thus far in conducting limited fall sports competitions as well as with in-person instruction and look forward to offering winter sports competition as well. We are learning, evaluating and adjusting each step of the way. Intercollegiate athletics remain a vital part of a Central education for many of our students and we want to provide those competition opportunities while taking whatever extraordinary measures we can to make that possible while mitigating the COVID-19 health risks.”

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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