The eleven commissioners of the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s Hockey Commissioners Association released a statement Thursday confirming the delay of the 2020-21 college hockey season.
The association did not set a date for the start to the season, leaving it up to each individual conference.
“Due to the impact COVID-19 continues to have across the country, and within higher education, the start of competition for the Division I college hockey season will be delayed,” the statement said. “Each conference will announce plans for the season individually. We look forward to enjoying the college hockey experience this season.”
Clarkson and St. Lawrence men’s and women’s hockey teams play in ECAC Hockey, a conference that includes six Ivy League schools, all of which decided in July to push back all of their varsity sports seasons until at least Jan. 1, 2021. ECAC Hockey schools Rensselaer and Union did the same.
The ECAC schools’ decisions effectively ended conference play in 2020 for remaining schools Clarkson, SLU, Colgate and Quinnipiac. Thursday’s announcement confirms the likelihood of no nonconference games in 2020 as well, although some NCAA hockey schools are looking toward late November as a potential start date for nonconference games.
“(We) are committed to providing memorable experiences for our student-athletes during the upcoming season,” the Hockey Commissioners group said. “The conferences have been working together on plans to return to play with a focus on the health and safety of everyone associated within our campus communities.”
ECAC women’s hockey games traditionally begin with nonconference play in late September and men’s nonconference games start in October. ECAC play traditionally begins in early November.
Meanwhile, the Clarkson men’s hockey team began practice Wednesday, skating in small groups to start its season. The NCAA is allowing teams to practice for up to four hours per week, setting a date for Oct. 3 when practice can be upped to 20 hours per week.