NJCAA announces 2020-21 eligibility status

Charlotte, NC – The NJCAA Board of Regents met Thursday to discuss NJCAA student-athlete eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year. Following the Board of Regents’ vote, all 2020-21 NJCAA sport seasons (fall, winter, spring) will not count towards student-athlete eligibility. The eligibility relief is provided to all NJCAA student-athletes regardless of sport season participation in the 2020-21 academic year.

“The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “There is no right answer to this challenge and situation, but as an association, we are going to support the eligibility of all our student-athletes to help them succeed in their academic and athletic careers.”

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Management Council recommends blanket waiver for all DIII student-athletes

Presidents Council will vote on season-of-participation waiver recommendation next week

The Division III Management Council is forwarding a recommendation to the Presidents Council to allow all Division III student-athletes to compete up to the established dates of competition/contest maximums without being charged a season of intercollegiate participation for this academic year.

The Presidents Council will review the recommendation during its Oct. 28 videoconference.

The blanket waiver request would not charge student-athletes a term of attendance for any term (semester/quarter) during the 2020-21 academic year in which they were eligible for competition.

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MSHSL Approves Winter Sports Plans

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — The remainder of the Minnesota State High School League’s activities calendar came into view today during the Board of Directors Meeting that was held in a virtual format.

After a presentation by the League’s Return to Participation Task Force, the Board of Directors approved a maximized winter activities season that trims 30 percent of the contest dates. By keeping the length of seasons generally intact, member schools will have the flexibility for rescheduling if contests are postponed because of COVID-19 related outbreaks or other interruptions. As part of the approval, members schools will have the opportunity to use the final two weeks of the season to make up contests if the postponements were weather or COVID related. Scrimmages and preseason jamborees are not allowed under the approved decision.

Waconia High School Activities Director Jill Johnson, a former board member and chair of the task force, said the approved plan also reduces the overlap in seasons, which benefits the start of spring seasons, thus, providing a full experience in these sports while minimizing exposure risks.

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Strong support for wrestling to get green light this winter

Aesthetically, it might seem like wrestling is the one sport that has no chance of happening during the 2020-21 school year.

Pierz Pioneers head wrestling coach Skip Toops would argue his sport is the one best prepared to handle competing in the time of COVID-19.

Toops started a change.org petition titled Let Them Wrestle MN that has 8,654 signatures as of 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28. The #letthemwrestlemn hashtag can be found on Facebook and Twitter and Toops himself has been front and center to answer any questions or lesson concerns about wrestling during a pandemic.

“We all saw on Aug. 4 that all of a sudden the rug was pulled out from under football and volleyball,” Toops said. “Whether it caught people off guard or not they had to be reactive. Our goal is to be proactive and create that support and put pressure on the people who make those decisions to show that there is support for this and there are statistics that show that this should happen. Continue reading at brainerddispatch.com

Training Schools and Camps Wrestling With COVID-19

By Brian Jerzak

Businesses around the nation have all had to deal with several changes during the last six months. The business of wrestling has had to adjust too. While high school and college programs have had many challenges, so have wrestling training facilities. How are these training facilities dealing with our new reality, and how are they planning for an uncertain future?

I talked with four wrestling training school owners and one wrestling camp director/coach to find out their thoughts on wrestling with COVID-19.

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High School Coaches Wrestling With COVID-19

By Brian Jerzak

The 2019-20 high school wrestling season just got in under the wire before the sports world came to a screeching halt. Since that week in March – while we are nowhere near back to normal – the sports world has slowly come back. Some have been able to compete, while others wait – impatiently – for their time to get back to competition. Based on timing, the high school wrestling world has not lost any competitions, but as we have all seen, we do not know what is going to happen two days from now – much less two months from now. How have high school coaches approached an offseason like no other, and what – if any – plans have they made going forward?

I talked with the head coaches from four of Minnesota’s top high school wrestling teams to find out their thoughts on wrestling with COVID-19.

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