RICHMOND, Va. – In response to the multitude of challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colonial Athletic Association has adopted an innovative scheduling concept for Olympic team sports during the 2020-21 season.
All CAA campuses are making plans to welcome students back this Fall to continue their academic pursuits, and each institution is also preparing for the restart of intercollegiate athletics.
The Extreme Flexibility Model (EFM) is designed to provide institutions with the opportunity to maximize cost savings relative to expenses associated with regular-season travel, while also providing student-athletes and coaches with the safest possible options when traveling to away contests.
Under the model, each CAA institution has committed to play at least the minimum number of contests per sport to meet NCAA sport sponsorship requirements, and has the option of scheduling additional games up to the NCAA maximum if they so choose. While it is expected that in many instances conference institutions will compete against other league members, it will not be required that an institution play any CAA contests. However, CAA institutions in the same region would have the ability to play multiple games against each other.
“We remain immersed in a period of time in which there are still more questions than answers,” said CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio. “I am confident that when the time is appropriate our institutions’ Presidents and Chancellors, working in conjunction with federal, state and local governments, will guide each of our campuses through the resocialization process. As our athletic departments participate in that process, the EFM provides the CAA with the best opportunity to play regular season contests during the 2020-21 academic year.”
The format and field size for conference tournaments is still under discussion and will be finalized in the near future.
The EFM will be used in the sports of baseball, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball, and all final scheduling decisions will be made in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines, as well as in consultation with policies put in place on each individual campus.
Decisions regarding the regular-season schedules for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball are still under review pending the issuance of NCAA guidelines and additional internal discussion. The Conference plans to make an announcement about the schedules for those sports at a later date.