Sports in Brief: September 18

RSEQ cancels fall season; verdict for fall sports coming in October; two Gaels join Volleyball Canada's excellence program

Canadian university sports conferences will reach a decision regarding winter term sports in October. 

RSEQ follows U Sports conferences in cancelling 2020 fall seasons

Quebec’s university sports conference, the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Quebec (RSEQ), has followed the lead of other major Canadian conferences in opting to cancel this fall semester’s sports to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The announcement came on Sept. 14, more than three months after U Sports and Canada’s three other regional conferences reached the same verdict.

The RSEQ noted the decision to cancel sports was difficult, but abiding by Quebec’s regional alert system—which discourages travel between high- and low-risk COVID-19 zones—logistically prohibits holding a fall sports season.

“This difficult decision made by members of the RSEQ university sector is based primarily on the regional alert system, which may limit the participation of universities, even if said institutions effectively manage health-and-safety best practices,” the RSEQ’s press release said.

However, the conference will allow exhibition competition between a handful of teams to keep the competitive spirit alive.

“[M]embers of the RSEQ university sector will permit activities involving at least two different teams in the following sports: cross-country, golf, and soccer—thus giving universities the flexibility to evolve at their own pace and with their own realities.”

Contact sports where social distancing is impossible, such as football and rugby, won’t be allowed to engage in inter-team activities.

Canadian conferences expected to reach verdict on winter sports by October 15

Two of Canada’s university sports conferences have announced dates by which a decision will be made regarding the fate of winter semester sports.

Canada West (CW) and the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Quebec (RSEQ) have said they will reach their verdicts by Oct. 8 and 15, respectively.

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) have only said their decisions will come in the fall; however, there’s speculation that the OUA’s announcement will also come on Oct. 15.

With the exception of the RSEQ, these conferences all decided to cancel fall semester sports in early June due to the threat posed by COVID-19.

The coming announcements are expected to detail whether winter sports will be allowed to play their seasons, and if fall semester sports—whose seasons were cancelled—will be able to play abbreviated seasons in the winter.

Some sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the US are considering rescheduling certain previously cancelled fall sports to the winter, and have confirmed some seasons will be pushed to Spring 2021.

With COVID-19 cases now spiking across numerous provinces and schools like McMaster already announcing online learning will continue into the winter, some fear the coming announcements may deliver more bad news for sports fans and student athletes.

Siksna and Hutcheson join Volleyball Canada’s National Excellence Program

Two members of Queen’s Men’s Volleyball have been included in the roster of Volleyball Canada’s National Excellence Program (NEP).

Erik Siksna, Comm ’23, who was named U Sports Rookie of the Year, and Zach Hutcheson, an Engineering Master’s student, are currently training in the program in Gatineau, QC. The outside hitters will return to the Queen’s team later this fall after their stints in the NEP have finished.

The news was exciting for Queen’s Men’s Volleyball Head Coach, Gabriel DeGroot.

“I'm both very proud and very excited about the opportunity presented to Erik and Zac this fall. They have both worked tremendously hard to be recognized by such a high caliber program like the National Excellence Program,” he said.

“Both of these athletes have the potential to contribute to our national program at the highest level and will hopefully represent our country on an Olympic stage one day."

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