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Haverford College: First Semester Athletic Plans

Haverford College: First Semester Athletic Plans

Usage of Haverford's Athletics Facilities (August 31)

Athletic facilities may be used by reservation only beginning on September 1. Currently, all indoor athletic facilities are closed to athletic activity. Outdoor athletic facilities may be reserved through EMS following all College health requirements. Outdoor athletic facilities may be reserved by students for groups of 2-3 depending on the outdoor athletic facility and by employees (paid Customs people are included in this designation for the purpose of scheduling Customs group activity only) for larger employee supervised groups - EMS will provide the capacity limit for each space. Users must satisfy all College requirements such as quarantine fulfillment, masking, and social distancing in order to use athletic facilities.


NCAA Division III COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide (August 17)

Please note this edition of the 2020-21 Academic Year NCAA Division III COVID-19 Question and Answer Guide is the most current edition. Updates will be made to this document on a continous basis as necessary.

You can access the latest release through this link.

Centennial Conference Update on Fall 2020 (August 14)

Amidst the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council has decided to cancel intercollegiate competition for all fall and winter sports through Dec. 31, 2020.  

The Presidents Council's decision was made with the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus communities as its top priority. The decision was also based on the recent National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors' mandate of the NCAA Resocialization principles and the Division III Presidents Council decision to cancel fall championships.

Practice opportunities will be available in the fall semester per Division III protocols and at the discretion of each member institution. The Conference and its members will continue to monitor local and national guidelines regarding health and safety to make any necessary adjustments moving forward.  
Member representatives and conference officials understand the significant impact these decisions have on our student-athletes and remain ready to provide support and guidance in any way possible. Questions related to eligibility and academics should be directed to member institutions, as usual.

The Conference is exploring alternative competition options such as shifting fall athletics to the spring. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Haverford College Student-Athlete FAQs (as of August 8) 

Will there be any penalties if I choose not to participate in practices due to health concerns about contracting COVID-19?
Absolutely not! 

Will I still be practicing in the 4:00 - 7:00 time slot?
Given the need for classes to be scheduled during non-traditional times due to limited classroom spaces, athletic practices may also need to be scheduled at non-traditional times.  Please select the classes you need/want to take regardless of when they meet and your coach will work with you to schedule a workable practice time.

Will students have access to indoor athletic facilities?
Indoor Athletic Facilities will not be available during phase one of return to play.  We will monitor the situation carefully and may open the GIAC for non-aerobic activities in phase two.   The Field House will remain closed for the entire first semester.  We are looking to establish an outdoor volleyball and basketball court option in lieu of the GIAC arena.

Can I play in an outside sports league?
No. This would represent a risk to your and the Haverford community's health and safety.  There may also be NCAA eligibility issues.

Can I live off campus and still participate in athletics?
At this time, those student-athletes enrolled full time and living off campus will be able to participate in supervised practices as long as all College's guidelines are followed.

When will fall practices for fall and spring teams begin?
As of now, there are over 20 states listed from which anyone coming to Pennsylvania will need to quarantine for 14 days.  In order to allow all student-athletes the time to satisfy all medical requirements, we are tentatively scheduled to begin official practices on September 21.  Prior to September 21, we will provide voluntary strength and conditioning opportunities to student-athletes as they clear the College's quarantine requirements.

What will my practices look like after September 21?
Coaches are designing practices in consultation with the College's administration to meet NCAA Resocialization Guidelines, State, College, and CDC safety and health guidelines for all sports.  They will consist of small groups focusing on individual skill work without contact.

When will winter team practices begin?
Winter sports are tentatively scheduled to begin official practices on October 5.  Prior to October 5,voluntary strength and conditioning workouts will be made available.

Has the College made a decision about competitions in the spring semester? 
A decision regarding varsity competition during the spring semester will be made at a later date.   

  • There will be no laundry or team locker room access.
  • Athletic trainer access and physical therapy will be by appointment only.


In response to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council has been meeting diligently to address the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and their communities. As institutions finalize their plans for the coming year, federal, state, and local health guidance, as well as institutional policies, will guide their independent decisions regarding reopening.  

Given health and other related concerns, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council has decided to suspend any inter-collegiate competition for sports scheduled for the fall semester. The presidents will reevaluate this decision by the end of September, based on work to be done by the Conference to assess sports-specific activities and the experiences on the schools' campuses. The presidents have determined football will not be played in the fall. The Conference will also explore the possibility of shifting certain fall sports, including football, to the spring. 



Haverford College, like many of its peer institutions, has made the decision to cancel all competition for the first semester of the '20 -'21 year. We realize that cancelling sport competition for the first semester is not the decision you had hoped to hear, even if not unexpected.  We admire, appreciate and respect your dedication and commitment to being a student-athlete at  Haverford – this is no easy task. Please know that Haverford has taken unprecedented steps to support the health and safety of our community as classes resume on September 8 and while this was an extremely difficult decision, it was made after much deliberation and with your and the rest of our community's safety as the number one priority.   

- Joyce Bylander, Interim Dean of the College
- Wendy Smith, Director of Athletics


Haverford College

Varsity Athletics, Club Sports and Physical Education FAQs


Varsity Athletics

Will there be a competitive season for fall sports?
There will be no intercollegiate competition during the first semester. We plan to allow our teams to conduct small group workouts based on the latest national, state and College health guidelines. The NCAA blanket waiver allows for 114 days of athletics-related activity for each sport this academic year.

Will fall athletes return early to begin pre-season?
No, student-athletes will arrive on campus as determined by residential life's schedule for all Haverford students.

What will it look like to be a student-athlete in the first semester?
The athletic department will develop guidelines for structured team activities based on the most recent national, state, and College guidelines as the fall semester begins. Initially it should be expected that any team activities will involve careful planning, small groups of team members, appropriate distancing and the wearing of masks when adequate distancing cannot be maintained. All of Haverford's varsity sports will be following the same guidelines for team activities. 

When will team activities occur?
Team activities will be planned around the class schedule to allow for maximum flexibility. This may include times outside of our traditional 4-7 p.m. practice window. 

What will practice look like for winter sports?
The beginning of the winter seasons will follow the most up to date national, state, and College guidelines. Initially, it should be expected that any team activities will involve careful planning, small groups of team members, appropriate distancing, and the wearing of masks when adequate distancing cannot be maintained. 

When will decisions be made about winter and spring sports competition?
Competition and return to campus for the second semester will be determined at a later date. 

What will spring sports be able to do during their fall non-traditional segment?
Spring sports will follow the most up to date national, state, and College guidelines. Initially, it should be expected that any team activities will involve careful planning, small groups of team members, appropriate distancing, and the wearing of masks when adequate distancing cannot be maintained.

What athletic spaces will be available for use?
Initially, we will be utilizing outdoor spaces with indoor athletic facilities opening as national, state, and College policies allow. There will be new policies regarding reservation and use of Haverford's athletic facilities based upon the latest recommendations from the state of Pennsylvania and Haverford College. All athletic facilities will have health and safety guidelines that will need to be followed at all times for any group using that space. 

Will student-athletes have access to Athletic Training and Strength & Conditioning staff/services?
All of our support staff will be available to our student-athletes. Access to and use of the Fitness Center and Athletic Training Room will be structured around the recommendations and guidelines established to best maintain individual and community health. Further information will be distributed regarding the specifics of both of these areas.

Will student-athletes need to complete their medical clearance paperwork and screening/baseline requirements?
Any student-athlete that plans to participate in any team activities during the 2020-21 academic year should complete the medical paperwork requirements that were distributed earlier this summer.  


NCAA Eligibility

All Sports:  Under current NCAA legislation (bylaw, a season of intercollegiate participation shall be counted in the student-athlete's sport when a student-athlete participates (practices or competes) during or after the first contest in the traditional segment following the student-athlete's initial participation of that academic year at that institution.

  • Spring Sports with Fall Non-Traditional Segment (Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse): Under current NCAA legislation (bylaw student-athletes participating in the fall non-traditional segment of the declared playing season, in the above listed sports, are not charged with the use of a season.

What does this mean for the Fall 2020 Semester?
Student-athletes may practice with their teams up until the first date of competition without being charged with the use of a season. If no competitions are held, by definition, a student-athlete would not trigger the use of a season.

Please be aware that there are other ways (outside of participation with the institution) that a student-athlete can trigger the use of a season of participation. As always, please remember to Ask Before You Act! If you have questions or plan on engaging in your sport outside of the institution, please contact Melissa Cruice, Director of Compliance, to ensure your activities do not jeopardize your eligibility. 

UPDATE (July 9, 2020): Has the NCAA issued waivers for eligibility for student-athletes, similar to last spring?
Yes, on Wednesday, July 9, the NCAA Division III Administrative Committee approved a blanket waiver for participation for the entire 2020-21 season. Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee noted that schools may be forced to shorten athletics seasons due to health and safety concerns, as well as related administrative concerns. Amending the criteria for a season-of-participation waiver would ensure student-athletes have four meaningful seasons of participation opportunities. The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the academic year.

The full NCAA Division III Administrative Committee blanket waiver approval notice is available here


Club Sports

Will club sports be able to practice or compete during the fall semester?
Club sports will not compete or be able to travel off campus to events. Practices will be organized and supervised following the same guidelines as varsity team practices. Athletics will work closely with the Student Engagement office to provide club sport opportunities.


Physical Education

Will the Physical Education graduation requirement change?
No change has been made to the physical education requirement.  The department will offer a variety of courses, including remote options, similar to those offered during the summer sessions.