In March, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the majority of the spring sports season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the rest of the collegiate landscape as well. The pandemic has now seemingly stretched to the fall as well.
The ACC announced Thursday it will not allow games, meets, matches or exhibitions until at least Sept. 1. Teams will still be allowed to practice in August.
The decision was unanimously approved by the ACC Board of Directors. It allows each campus to further focus on ensuring return to competition protocols are in place to facilitate the resocialization process. The delay in competition includes all exhibition and non-conference games in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.
At Clemson, this news will affect men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and cross country. The football season isn’t scheduled to begin at Clemson until Sept. 3, when the Tigers visit Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Louisville’s football team will host NC State on Sept. 2, a game they moved from Sept. 3 due to the Kentucky Derby being run that same weekend.
Other than football, Clemson has not officially released its fall sports schedules. However, basing it on last year’s schedules, the men’s soccer team, for now, is slated to lose at least one regular season match and two exhibitions, while the women, for now, will lose two exhibition matches and three regular season matches.
The women’s soccer program usually starts its matches a week before the men season’s starts. Last year, they started the regular season on Aug. 22 and the men started on Aug. 30.
Last year, the cross country men’s team started its season on Aug. 31, while the women’s program started on the same day.
The volleyball team, for now, will not be able to host fan day as it normally does where they also have a scrimmage planned for the fans. Last year, the program hosted three home games and an exhibition, including the Big Orange Bash prior to Sept. 1.
ACC institutions will continue with their respective return to competition protocols in anticipation of a fall season. Any rescheduling of contests will also be determined by each school.
The league continues to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on fall schedules and competitions with the understanding that there may be future changes, and that the priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes.
—file photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
—ACC communications contributed to this story
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