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ODAC announces plan for return to competition this spring

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Presidents’ Council announced today its plan to return to competition in January.

As part of the decision, ODAC leaders committed that the conference will follow all established NCAA testing recommendations. The ODAC Board of Directors and a number of working groups, including athletic training and sports medicine personnel, also created a Standard Operating Procedures for Competition guide.

“We know how much our student-athletes look forward to returning to competition, and the ODAC leadership has tried to find a solution that balances this desire with the need to provide the safest environment possible for our students and staff,” said Randolph President Bradley W. Bateman. “As long as the conditions surrounding the pandemic do not worsen, we are optimistic that the ODAC will be able to move forward with this plan to return to competition.”

The framework approved by the ODAC provides regular season and conference championship structures for fall and winter sports. The schedule includes men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming, which offer the opportunity to qualify for NCAA championship participation. Second semester competition is scheduled to begin on January 23 with men’s and women’s basketball. All other sports, including fall and spring programs, will begin later as the semester progresses.

“The conference has worked diligently to create a plan for all our student-athletes to continue their collegiate athletic experience in the spring,” said ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston in a press release. “I am pleased with the progress we have made and the plans we have created. While no one can control the pandemic, we can continue to follow local guidance, implement well-documented best practices regarding health and safety, and prepare for competition following the recommendations presented by the NCAA.”

Randolph is a member of the ODAC conference, along with Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, Emory & Henry College, Ferrum College, Guilford College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, the University of Lynchburg, Randolph-Macon College, Randolph College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, Virginia Wesleyan University, and Washington & Lee University.

To see the ODAC’s full release, which includes a FAQ document, click here.

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