NEPSAC cancels fall 2020 championships

  • Deerfield Academy’s Zach Davis, left, defends against NMH’s Caleb Martin during NEPSAC action last year in 2019 at Peller Family Field in Gill. The NEPSAC announced on Thursday that it was canceling championship events for the Fall 2020 season. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/30/2020 1:44:58 PM

While fall sports may still happen in some capacity for area prep schools, there won’t be any postseason or championship games at the end of the season.

The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) announced on Thursday that it was canceling all championship events for the fall 2020 season.

In a statement, NEPSAC President George Tahan said that the organization’s Executive Board has monitored the situation, and after hearing that a “majority” of NEPSAC leagues have already made determinations that they were canceling or significantly altering competition schedules, canceling postseason events made the most sense.

“As a result of this, and constraints related to the ongoing pandemic, and the desire to maximize flexibility for member schools, the Board has determined that it would be prudent at this time to cancel all NEPSAC Championship events for the fall of 2020,” Tahan said. “With the majority of NEPSAC leagues not being able to play traditional fall schedules, the Board felt that any NEPSAC Championship events held would not have enough membership participation to merit holding the events.”

Deerfield Academy and Northfield Mount Hermon School are members of the NEPSAC. The conference was slated to hold tournaments and championships during the week of Nov. 16-22.

While there will be no postseason, the NEPSAC acknowledged that schools and teams still have the opportunity to play games, if they so choose.

“The Board wanted to create maximum flexibility for schools for the fall with respect to any scheduling they may undertake,” Tahan said. “By canceling our championships at this time, schools are now free to schedule any fall contests as they see fit, rather than worrying about whether their schedule will allow them to qualify for postseason play.”

Both DA and NMH have plans in place on their respective websites for reopening campuses this fall, though athletics are still very much an unknown. NMH’s reopening plan stated that, “At present, we do not anticipate that families will be able to freely attend sporting events and art performances, many of which will be streamed. Campus access will also likely be limited to specific spaces.”

Here’s the rest of the NEPSAC’s statement:

“In closing, the Executive Board’s decision to cancel all Fall 2020 NEPSAC Championships was made after careful deliberation. It is a result of information received from member schools as they continue to respond to the continuing pandemic in the context of their interscholastic athletic programs. It was also made based on the complexity and constraints involved in holding such events during the current pandemic. Finally, the decision was also made to provide flexibility to member schools, which has been a recurring theme the Board has tried to honor during these extremely challenging times.”

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