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ACC unveils scheduling plans for fall Olympic sports

ACC unveils scheduling plans for fall Olympic sports

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The ACC revealed its scheduling plans for the fall Olympic sports season Wednesday.

For the second time this month, the ACC has pushed back the start of the season.

The league announced Wednesday that fall competitions for Olympic sports teams won’t begin until Sept. 10 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ACC had announced on July 9 that its fall Olympic sports teams would not be playing any regular-season games or preseason exhibitions until at least Sept. 1.

Virginia Tech women’s soccer coach Chugger Adair, whose team already had four regular-season games wiped out by the July 9 decision, said the Hokies will have two more games scrapped because of Wednesday’s decision.

The ACC also revealed Wednesday that when it comes to the ACC portion of the schedule, its fall Olympic sports teams will play only a limited conference schedule consisting of the minimum number of games a squad must play this season under NCAA rules. The NCAA recently lowered the season minimums for teams because of the pandemic.

• Women’s soccer teams will each play six ACC games, down from 10 last year.

“I would love to have a normal season,” Adair said. “We’re trying to do all we can to have a season.”

Adair has not yet been given his new ACC schedule.

• Men’s soccer teams also will each play six ACC games, down from eight last fall.

• Volleyball teams will play 10 ACC matches, down from 18 last fall.

• Field hockey teams will play six ACC games, the same number as last fall.

The fall teams are still free to have nonleague games on their schedule, providing none are held before Sept. 10.

Teams are also free to play nonleague games against any ACC rivals that are not on their league schedule.

Adair said he expects his team will have some nonleague games.

“We’ll look to pick up some other games once we know more of the ACC schedule,” Adair said. “There’s been some text exchanges.”

For cross country, teams can schedule however many meets as they want.

There will still be ACC championships for soccer, field hockey and cross country (volleyball never had an ACC tournament).

The ACC also announced that its golf and tennis teams will have to wait until their spring seasons to compete in tournaments. They will not be allowed to play in fall tournaments.

The conference has also scrapped fall exhibition games for baseball, softball and lacrosse teams.

The NCAA recommended two weeks ago that COVID-19 testing and results should be obtained by schools within 72 hours of a football game kicking off and within 72 hours of the first game of the week for other “high contact risk sports,” including soccer, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, lacrosse and rowing.

The ACC took the same 72-hour approach, announcing Wednesday that testing of athletes must be done within three days of a football game kicking off and within three days of the first game of the week for soccer, field hockey and volleyball. That also goes for basketball, wrestling, lacrosse and rowing teams, once their seasons roll around.

The conference is requiring only the aforementioned teams to be tested weekly during the season.

The ACC is also requiring nonleague foes to follow the ACC’s testing mandates for the two weeks leading up to the nonconference game in question.

For cross country, baseball and softball, the ACC is calling for its teams to be tested only every other week during the season.

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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