NCRHA Announces Cancellation of 2020 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships
April 2020 event cancelled; 2021 Championships to be held in Fort Myers, FLMarch 12th, 2020 at 7:23PM March 13th, 2020 1:10AM
It is with great sadness and disappointment that the NCRHA announces that the league’s annual championship event, the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships, is being cancelled due to the uncertainty and public health concerns created by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The event, which would have crowned champions in five divisions, was to be held at the Skatium in Fort Myers, FL, April 15-19, 2020.
In the past 24 hours, many professional, collegiate, and amateur sports have either suspended their seasons (in some cases indefinitely) or cancelled their championship tournaments. While the nature of collegiate club sports, and our event, is different than that of either professional sports or varsity collegiate athletics, the safety of our teams and student-athletes is of the same level of concern and must be the paramount consideration.
In the preceding days we had hoped that the fact that our event was still more than a month away would provide enough time to get a handle on the situation as it developed further before a decision needed to be made. However, we have all watched as the NCAA cancelled its men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments, and USA Hockey and the ACHA have both cancelled their championships that were scheduled to take place over the next few weeks. The nature of collegiate club athletics is that our clubs are beholden to their schools for guidance and governance, and if their school says they cannot participate, they cannot participate. While many schools are still in a wait and see pattern, most of them have gone to online-only classes and have discouraged all but essential domestic travel, and some have already prohibited their sports clubs from travel through the end of the school year.
Proactively cancelling the event in Fort Myers at this time gives certainty to the planning process for teams and prevents further cost from being incurred. We understand and share the frustration and disappointment that will surely be felt by our teams and student-athletes, but we believe that we are acting in the best interests of all of our clubs, players, and the organization as a whole by taking this exceptional and unwanted action. With the recent actions taken by USA Hockey and other major professional, varsity and club sports organizations, we felt it necessary to take similar preventative measures to mitigate, suppress, and delay the spread of coronavirus by not bringing in almost 60 teams from across the country with approximately 800 players and staff, having them mingle for 5-6 days, and then return to their home locales.
In order to provide some certainty and clarity to everyone involved with the NCRHA, we also would like to announce the following:
- Due to the cancellation of the 2020 event, Fort Myers, Florida will host the 2021 Championships April 14-18, 2021.
- Since the 2020 Championships will not be played as scheduled, the 2019-20 season will not count against the five-year eligibility limit for any player.
- Finally, the NCRHA is aware of the outsized impact and disappointment this situation has brought upon its graduating seniors and is exploring options to extend their playing opportunities and will explore those options heading into the offseason.
To summarize, the April 15-19, 2020 event has been cancelled with great regret. Fort Myers will host the 2021 Championships, and no players who participated in the 2019-20 season will lose a year of eligibility.
We are extremely grateful for the continuing support of the NCRHA and collegiate club roller hockey by the entire NCRHA community, including but not limited to the dedicated players, coaches, volunteers, and staff that make the league possible, as well as Lee County Florida and the City of Fort Myers, all past and future host destinations, and our sponsors Mission Hockey, Bauer Hockey, and InlineWarehouse for the support of our league and Championships. We look forward to a successful offseason of club building opportunities, including recruitment with our partners at State Wars tryouts, the College Prospect Camp, and State Wars Finals in Detroit.