NJCAA decision means fall, spring are now one season
The fall sports schedule will be pretty empty at CCBC Essex this season. But the spring schedule will be jumpin’.
The NJCAA decided on Monday all “close-contact” fall sports will be moved to the spring. For some colleges, that includes football.
For Essex, that means men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. Men’s and women’s cross country will remain in the fall.
CCBC Dundalk does not offer any fall sports.
For some Essex athletes, a decision will have to be made.
It’s common for some women’s soccer players to play lacrosse in the spring. They’ll have to chose between sports this year.
Other changes by the NJCAA include pushing the start of the winter sports season back to the beginning of January, with championship tournaments moved from March to April.
That will effect men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and swimming and diving.
Bowling and indoor track will not start until the beginning of March.
“I think the NJCAA and its member institutions made the best decision possible with the safety of our studentathletes, coaches, fans and staff driving that decision,” Essex athletic director Greg Witkop said.
“This still gives us a chance to play something as close to a normal season as possible.”
Essex only has men’s and women’s basketball in the winter, while Dundalk has men’s basketball and is planning to start a women’s program.
Dundalk also has bowling, but at the intramural level.
The Lions only have baseball in the spring, while Essex will have men’s and women’s soccer sharing “The Castle” with men’s nd women’s lacrosse.
The Knights also have a baseball program.
“There will be some challenges to soccer and lacrosse sharing the turf field,” Witkop said. “However, we also have available alternate site options.”
Both Essex soccer teams won regional titles last season, with the Knight women eventually advancing to the NJCAA championship tournament in Florida.
The CCBC Essex women’s soccer team has a few extra months in which to prepare for a return to the NJCAA championship tourney.
The NJCAA has decided to move all fall sports except cross country to the spring.