The Skidmore Thoroughbreds, for one, are going to give it a go.
The Saratoga Springs college released a plan on Thursday by which it will allow all four classes to return to campus in the fall for in-person learning, while offering a remote learning option for students who are uncomfortable with being on campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That means the Skidmore fall sports teams will be able to play, while facing a variety of new challenges, like how to run the programs safely under COVID-19 restrictions and how to build schedules with fewer opponents to pick from.
Some schools, like RPI, have already announced that their fall sports teams won’t compete, and Skidmore’s scheduling will hinge upon the Liberty League’s decision on conference play, which is expected to be announced next week.
“Once they decide, we’re going to find out [about schedules],” Skidmore athletics communications manager Bill Jones said. “Who knows. It’s just going to be hard. I imagine we’re going to try to stay close to home. But it all depends on the state allowing us to go forward.”
The college’s plan, announced by new Skidmore president Marc Conner, includes this section regarding varsity, club and intramural sports:
“The Liberty League is meeting regularly to determine a plan in which varsity athletic competition can take place. We are hopeful we can provide such an experience for our student-athletes, and our staff is coming up with creative ways to continue our commitment to the Division III athletic experience. The schedule will be modified, and fan attendance will either be significantly reduced or eliminated as an in-person experience. Similarly, we are pursuing ways to provide both club and intramural sports experiences and individual and group fitness classes, again, with all the health and safety modifications necessary. Our goal continues to be to provide the best equivalent experience whenever possible within health and safety guidelines.”
The Thoroughbreds compete in golf, soccer, tennis, field hockey and women’s volleyball in the fall.
Jones pointed out that the NCAA has relaxed the minimum number of games a team needs to play to be eligible for the postseason.
“It won’t be full schedules, but it’ll be some scheduling,” he said. “Of course, everything’s going to depend on the current situation. Things can change in five minutes.”