NJCAA determines fall sport proceedings

JJC is a month into their new online format. While everyone is still adapting to this change, sports schedules still remain uncertain.

The National Junior College Athletic Association discussed over the summer to decide how they will be handling sports for the 2020-2021 seasons. Cross country for both men and women will begin as normal with the necessary guidelines in place to ensure safety.

Those anticipating more fall and winter sports, playing in their appropriate time of the year, cannot be guaranteed.

“All sports — women’s volleyball, men and women’s basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading, which usually come during the fall, are now being fully moved to the spring semester,” Athletic Director Gregory Braun said. “…with competition beginning in late Jan. for those sports.”

As we have seen in Division I and certain professional sports, pushing specific sports seasons to later in the year or in early 2021 is the new norm. At JJC, it is something that athletes, and fans will have to get used to. Braun put out a statement on how the decisions “were made based on guidelines set forth by the NJCAA.”

As teams start to practice and ease their way back into the season, forming and following certain protocols is necessary. Regular temperature checks are required along with masks being worn up until live action is taking place.

For the time being, the Wolves teams take part in inter-squad matches as no true traveling is being permitted.

The issue with inter-squad matches is that these scrimmages are a good way for the players to get prepared; however, always trying your hardest against your own team is not ideal, as injury risk is huge.

“We are all excited to be back on campus to practice but we will not be playing outside competition this fall.” Braun said. “We understand the situation we are in and just thankful to get some in.”

Braun, who is also the head coach of the baseball team, expressed some issues that not only his baseball teams and staff have issues with, but everyone else at JJC has as well.

“It was really tough in the beginning. Trying to recruit a student-athlete to come to JJC over FaceTime or Zoom is difficult just in the fact that we can’t walk them around our Event Center and show them our amazing facilities,” Braun said.

“Travel baseball has been playing since May, so we were able to get out and see some players – as well as just relying on recruiting from videos that they have sent us.”