The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference will delay the start of 2020 fall sports competitions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the U.S.
In a meeting Monday, the RMAC president’s council voted to delay the start of fall sports practices to Aug. 24 with the date of first competition moved to Sept. 18. The council also voted to a conference-only schedule for football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball.
The council, in making its decision, reviewed current local, state and national COVID-19 guidelines and the guidance and principles of the NCAA. The RMAC felt aligning with the best current practices and was essential to maintaining a safe and healthy playing environment for its student-athletes.
"I believe the decision of the RMAC President’s Council to delay the start of the fall sports season is in line with the NCAA’s Resocialization of Collegiate Sports," BHSU athletic director Jhett Albers said, "and now gives us a definitive timeline to begin planning and implementing the protocols and guidelines necessary to assist with our efforts to provide a healthy and safe environment for our student-athletes."
The move to start the fall sports season late touches nearly every sport at South Dakota Mines, Black Hills State and Chadron State.
The Hardrocker football team's home-opener against Missouri S&T is cancelled. Mines will now open its season Saturday, Sept. 19, against Chadron State compete in the Battle for the Eagle-Rock Trophy at O'Harra Stadium.
The Mines volleyball team will withdraw from tournament play at Montana State-Billings on Sept. 4-5 and Fort Hays, Colo., on Sept. 11-12. Now, the Hardrockers will debut Sept. 18 at home against an RMAC opponent, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
The Mines cross country team loses two meets from its schedule: the Hardrocker Classic on Sept. 5 and the Chadron State Open on Sept. 12. The Hardrockers will start their season on Sept. 18 at Black Hills State.
The men's soccer team at Mines loses four matches in a 10-day stretch, with games at Adams State, Colorado Christian and UC-Colorado Springs and a home match with Colorado Christian all cancelled.
Mines will now open its season Friday, Sept. 18, in Denver against Regis University before opening its home schedule Sunday, Sept. 20, against Metro State-Denver.
The Hardrocker women's golf team loses its spot in the Colorado Christian Invitational on Sept. 14-15.
The schedule change means Black Hills State's football game at Drake, Iowa, on Thursday, Sept. 3, is cancelled.
The Yellow Jacket's women's soccer match with Dakota Wesleyan on Sunday, Sept. 6 is also cancelled. Black Hills State will start its season Friday, Sept. 18, at Colorado Mines in Golden, Colo.
The Black Hills State volleyball team will drop out of the Fort Hayes State tournament scheduled for Sept. 11-12 and will reschedule its RMAC match with Adams State, originally set for Sept. 14.
The BH women's golf team will not play in the Colorado Christian Swan Memorial tournament on Monday, Sept. 14, and will start its season Sept. 26 at the Augustana Invitational in Sioux Falls.
Black Hills State's cross country teams won't compete in the Hardrocker Classic on Sept. 5. Instead, the Yellow Jackets will start their season Friday, Sept. 18, when they host the Gage McSpadden Memorial meet at Spearfish Canyon Country Club in Spearfish.
Chadron State’s football game at Missouri S&T on Sept. 12 will be cancelled. The Eagles’ season opener against RMAC foe Western Colorado will not be played as scheduled on Sept. 5. The two schools will try to reschedule the game on another date.
The Eagles' football season will begin instead at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at South Dakota Mines. Chadron State’s home-opener will be Saturday, Sept. 26, against Colorado Mesa.
The Eagles’ volleyball teams scheduled trips to play in tournaments at CSU-Pueblo and Northern State will be dropped. Chadron State will open its season Friday, Sept. 18, against RMAC opponent Westminster at Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Chadron State women's golf team will lose its first two scheduled tournaments, one at CSU-Pueblo and the other in Denver. The Eagles will start their season at the Mustang Invitational in Marshall, Minn., on Oct. 3-4.
Reviews of safety precautions and protocols will continue throughout the fall, as the RMAC and its member schools monitor any need for further adjustments.
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