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GPCIHL

Great Plains Collegiate Inline Hockey League

NCRHA 2020-2021 Season Spring Semester Statement

 December 14th, 2020 at 11:41PM  December 15th, 2020 5:46AM

As 2020 comes to a close, National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Conference Directors and Staff are hard at work looking for ways to provide opportunities for collegiate club roller hockey programs to begin play for the 2020-21 season. First semester saw Covid-19 wreak havoc on the traditional fall schedules across the NCRHA conferences. However, as the holidays approach and infection numbers continue to increase, with the rolling out of long-promised vaccines there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

With this in mind, it is time to bring collegiate roller hockey back safely for those teams that are able to participate with games held in the areas of the country where facilities are open for competition, leading to a National Championship at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season. The National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships are currently scheduled for April 14-18, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. The NCRHA is firmly committed to hosting a National Championships in 2021 and avoiding a second consecutive year without crowning national champions and, while these are the traditional dates, we recognize that the dates may have to change as circumstances dictate during the early months of 2021.

During the fall semester, most collegiate club programs across the country were prohibited from participating in inter-collegiate club competitions by their schools, and/or local and state regulations. The NCRHA recognizes and respects that as a collegiate club sports organization, the authority to allow a club from any school to participate in league play rests with the school itself.

**MEMBER CLUBS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORIZATION OF THEIR SCHOOL TO PARTICIPATE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR NCRHA COMPETITION. THE NCRHA STRONGLY URGES EACH CLUB TO WORK CLOSELY WITH THEIR SCHOOL, FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURES, AND NOT PUT THEIR FUTURE PARTICIPATION IN JEOPARDY.**

The NCRHA has maintained contact with Club Sports Directors across the country to keep communication lines open and get a feel for the situation on the ground at each school. While most schools were not allowing any off-campus participation during fall semester, and some of them have the same stance related to spring semester, many of them are preparing for the possibility that their clubs may be able to participate in the spring.

Unless your college or university has expressly stated that club sports participation cannot happen in the spring, the time is now for our clubs to be preparing to play! The NCRHA is urging all member clubs to contact their Club Sports Directors as soon as possible to find out what steps they will need to take to participate in the spring, if it is possible to do so. This includes finding out what protocols will need to be followed and informing their Conference Directors and the NCRHA of those requirements. Given enough notice, reasonable accommodations can be made for unique school return-to-play (RTP) requirements that would go above and beyond the NCRHA's planned RTP protocols. Clubs should be completing the paperwork process with their schools and NCRHA conferences, and submitting any jersey designs to the NCRHA for approval of the designs (though we recommend NOT committing to production yet).

NCRHA-required paperwork includes the School Acknowledgement Letter, which must be completed each school year prior to participation in the NCRHA or NCRHA conferences. For the 2020-2021 season, please see the updated School Acknowledgement Letter instructions, available at www.ncrha.org/documents. Any additional information from the school regarding 2020-2021 season and Covid-19 stipulations must be included in the letter.

All jersey designs must be approved by the NCRHA and can be submitted via email to [email protected].

The NCRHA will be finalizing and releasing return-to-play standards shortly. These will include an emphasis on actions that must be taken to ensure maximum levels of safety for players and fans (where permitted). To a degree, standards required by local or state mandates in effect may supersede the NCRHA RTP guidelines, and this would be evaluated and implemented on a case-by-case basis.

The ultimate goal for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season is to provide the maximum opportunity for those clubs that are able and want to play collegiate roller hockey to do so. There is a recognized need to be uniquely flexible this season in ways that most likely will not be necessary in future seasons.

For this season only, the following is a non-inclusive list of changes that should be expected:

  • Traditional conference play, including standings and conference championships, may or may not be able to happen. Regular season play may occur without regards to conference boundaries.
  • Traditional eligibility rules for post-season eligibility for players (minimum 6 games) will be suspended FOR 2020-2021 ONLY. All registered and academically eligible players will be post-season eligible.
  • The NCRHA will defer to each college or university's eligibility standards for club sports participation. If your school states that you are eligible, you will be able to participate. Therefore, traditional minimum credit hour eligibility standards (9 credits undergrad, 6 credits Junior College, etc.) will not be enforced IN 2020-2021 ONLY.
  • The NCRHA will not consider any participation in the 2020-2021 season towards the 5-year (or 3-year Junior College) eligibility limit.
  • While the National Championships are currently slated for the traditional early to mid-April dates in Fort Myers, Florida, the NCRHA reserves the right to move the dates later in the calendar and/or change the location if necessary to be able to produce the event due to extraordinary circumstances. However, neither will change unless absolutely necessary.

If you have any questions in regards to the 2020-2021 season, please contact the NCRHA at [email protected].

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