GREENSBORO, NC (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference recognizes the uncertain and challenging environment that all areas of our society are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intercollegiate athletics is just one area we must address as we strive to return to our campus, bring back students and faculty when possible, and pursue our academic missions and goals as part of higher education. The health, safety and well-being of all the constituents of our campus are at the forefront of all decisions.
With this in mind, the ACC Board of Directors has announced that if public health guidance allows, the seven ACC-sponsored fall sports will begin competition during the week of the ACC. September 7-12. The news follows several months of discussion and scenario planning among the league membership and the Medical Advisory Group. Each decision is based on the best available medical guidelines and coincides with the academic missions of our universities.
“As we look forward to the fall, the safety of our students, staff and the general campus community continues to be our highest priority,” said Kent Syverud, Chancellor of Syracuse University and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ACC. “Today’s news outlines a specific path for the ACC’s autumn sport to return to intercollegiate athletic competition using comprehensive protocols put forward by our ACC Medical Advisory Group. As a league, we understand the need to remain flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information evolves alongside local and state health guidelines. “
“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by several individuals during the conference,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Board’s decision presents a way, if public health guidance allows, to move forward in competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate safe and responsible return. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible if this need arises. “
The ACC Medical Advisory Group, which has been meeting weekly since the spring to share information on the impact of COVID-19 on the ACC campus and intercollegiate athletics, has recommended minimum standards for each campus. follows the return of fall sports. Among those recommendations are weekly tests for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitation of competition areas. The full report is available HERE.
Information specific to the 2020 competition for both football and the Olympic sport of the league is included below. The tournament leadership, and its medical advisory group, will continue to meet weekly to share information and discuss medical issues related to the ACC’s return. If future adjustments are needed, the ACC Board of Directors shall do so in a timely manner.
- The first games of the season will take place on the week of September 7-12
- The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)
- All opponents of non-conference games, selected by the respective school, must have played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the requirements of the medical protocol. as agreed by the ACC
- All 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates
- There will be one division
- Notre Dame will also play a 10-match conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the ACC 2020 Football Championship Games
- All television revenue for the 2020 season, including the Notre Dame home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutions.
- The ACC Football Championship Games will be played on either December 12 or December 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based on the highest percentage of game conference wins.
- All 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC bowl selection process; Notre Dame will win the ACC Football Championship Games if they are eligible for the Orange Bowl, if they are not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team
- The weekly ACC weekly schedule and television selection will be released in the future
Olympic Sports Fall Fall:
- The Olympic Sports Competition can begin on Thursday, September 10th
- The team sport will play a conference schedule that meets the minimum amount of NCAA games: field hockey (6), women’s soccer (6), men’s soccer (6) and volleyball (10)
- Schools will continue to schedule regular season competitions from the country at their discretion.
- Any additional games against conference opponents or non-conference opponents is at the discretion of the respective school and all opponents must meet ACC medical standards.
- Any additional games against conference opponents that are beyond the schedules given by the conference are not counted in the ACC standings.
- The schedule for the Fall Championships
- The cross country championships will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC on October 30, and include all fifteen member schools.
- The field hockey tournament will be held at Duke University on November 5, 6 and 8.
- The women’s soccer tournament will feature the top four teams and will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC on Nov. 6 and 8, as previously announced.
- The men’s soccer tournament will include the top four teams and will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC on Nov. 13 and 15.
- Television selections will be made in the future through ACC’s partnership with ESPN and ACC Network
ACC Sports Winter and Spring Sports:
- Competition in the sports of swimming and diving, the indoor track and the field and fencing must be postponed until at least 10 September.
- The fall competition in men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball canceled
- Student-athletes in golf and tennis continue to be eligible to compete unbound
- Teams in all sports may continue to practice at the discretion of their institution