UMW suspends fall sports due to COVID-19
As a result of the continued impact of COVID-19, University of Mary Washington has decided to suspend fall sport competition. UMW will be joining the ten other members of its conference, the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), in suspending all Conference competitions, including Conference championships, for the fall 2020 season.
The following sports are immediately impacted and will not compete during the fall of 2020: men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. Additionally, the following sports will be impacted for portions of their schedule that would have been contested during the fall: equestrian, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and the team sports of men’s and women’s rugby. A decision regarding winter and spring sports will be made at a later date.
The UMW Athletic Department will continue work with the Mary Washington COVID-19 Implementation Team, the Athletics COVID-19 Action Team, the Capital Athletic Conference, and the NCAA to consider any options for moving competition for fall sports to the spring.
“For weeks, the Department of Athletics has been planning for return to play in a safe, healthy and equitable way as part of the University’s #ForwardUMW plan and under the guidelines of the NCAA and Capital Athletic Conference,” said Director of Athletics Patrick Catullo. “Regrettably, as updated information has been released for a phased approach regarding return to activity, it has become clear that suspension of fall sports is the best way forward.”
“This decision was not made lightly,” Catullo added, “and while nothing can replace the loss of competition opportunities, we will work to continue the impactful student-athlete experience through interactions with peers and coaches.”
Catullo will continue working with the University’s COVID-19 Implementation Team and his CAC colleagues on protocols for practices, workouts and other activities for all varsity teams. He said, “At Mary Washington, our student-athletes contribute an extraordinary amount to the campus and the Fredericksburg community, and the coaches, staff and I are motivated to help them realize the UMW student-athlete experience to the fullest extent possible this fall.”
Through several recent focus groups with student-athletes, Catullo and his leadership team have gained valuable insights into delivering that experience in innovative and meaningful ways.
Further announcements regarding a return to athletics competition will be made available via umweagles.com when available.
Here are some frequently asked questions. Find more at UMW’s return to campus advisory site.
What sports will be able to compete during the fall semester?
Mary Washington is suspending competition for the following sports this fall: men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. Additionally, the following sports will be impacted for portions of their schedule that would have been contested during the fall: equestrian, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and the team sports of men’s and women’s rugby.
In conjunction with the CAC, we will explore in the coming months shifting fall sports to the spring. The Conference is committed to conducting quality championship experiences for our student-athletes and institutions in a safe and healthy environment.
When will a decision be made regarding winter and spring sports?
We have not decided yet regarding winter and spring sport seasons. We will continue to work with the Mary Washington COVID-19 Implementation Team, the Athletics COVID-19 Team, the CAC and the NCAA in order to comply with forthcoming guidance for best practices concerning a return to competition.
What will it be like to participate on a team at Mary Washington this fall?
For those student-athletes on our fall, winter and spring varsity program and team sports rosters, practices could be permitted in accordance with institutional, state and NCAA safety protocols, including physical distancing and personal protective equipment. We are working on provisions that would allow for team strength and conditioning activities, if feasible. Athletic training paperwork must be completed and reviewed prior to participating in team activities, whether in-person or remotely.