In order to protect the health and well-being of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ student-athletes and the larger campus and Geneva communities from the effects of COVID-19, HWS, along with the Liberty League, has canceled winter sports competition and championships. Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Deb Steward made the announcement on Nov 9. The Colleges are members of the Liberty League in the winter sports of basketball, swimming and diving, and squash. HWS will also cancel competition for ice hockey this season.
The Liberty League and HWS join a growing list of conferences and institutions across all divisions that have made the difficult decision to cancel winter sports competition. In Division III, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, New England Small College Athletic Conference, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, the North Coast Athletic Conference, the Northeast Women’s Hockey League, the State University of New York Athletic Conference and the University Athletic Association previously announced the cancellation of winter championships for the 2020-21 academic year.
“With the continued prevalence of the coronavirus, the indoor nature of winter sports and the challenging protocols identified in order to compete, this difficult decision demonstrates our commitment to the health of our community,” says Steward. “With hope that our health agencies continue to make advances in testing, treatment and a vaccine, we will continue to prepare diligently for spring competition.”
“The decision to cancel Liberty League competition and championships was made after careful consideration and review of relevant facts and data,” says Liberty League Commissioner Tracy King. “COVID-19 infection rates continue to increase throughout the country and we have also seen spikes in our college communities, which creates additional challenges for our institutions. We understand the deep sense of disappointment felt by our student-athletes that have trained and prepared for competition and we understand and share in their disappointment. Our institutions will continue to work to provide meaningful athletic opportunities to support our student-athletes.”
As of Nov. 9, there are no positive cases of coronavirus on the Hobart and William Smith campus. The Colleges continue to regularly administer tests and have numerous protocols in place should a positive case be identified.
HWS will continue to monitor the latest guidance from local, state, and federal health officials as well as the NCAA before making a decision early in 2021 on the status of spring sports. In addition, we will continue ongoing monitoring of conditions with the hope that some level of competition, such as scrimmages with local teams, might be possible as we progress through the next few months. The Colleges remain committed to providing student-athletes with an experience that includes team practices, strength and conditioning workouts, leadership seminars and player-coach meetings.