NJCAA expected to move football, other sports to spring

Charles Chaney
The NJCAA, the National Junior College Athletic Association logo.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) is expected to move most sports, including football to the spring athletic season based on a proposal from their board of regents.

On Friday, the NJCAA made a formal, public announcements of said proposal as the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) made their decision to move sports to the spring athletic semester as well.

“We must adjust accordingly to support and sustain NJCAA programs,” Parker said in an official statement. “The association as a whole is collectively working to provide the best opportunities to be successful on and off the field for our student-athletes.”

According to president and CEO, Christopher Parker, the schedule would appear to be a seven-to-eight-game schedule for each team.

“We would like to play football this fall,” Parker told the Athletic. “But I think from a national perspective, moving it is probably the right decision holistically.”

There are currently 54 football playing NJCAA schools and 512 overall. Minnesota and Erie Community College have chosen to suspend their fall athletic seasons, canceling football in the process. The proposal would allow those sports to have football back if they chose to do so.

Under this proposal, football teams would be allowed to practice between Aug. 13 and Oct. 10, with two scrimmages against outside opponents if deemed safe by the playing schools.

For football, practice would begin March 1 and games would begin March 25. With a seven-to-eight-game schedule allowed for each team, the season would wind down by May 15. Bowl games and the National Championship Game, which will take place at Pittsburg State University, will begin June 3.

Other sports will be effected as well. Basketball would begin practice Jan. 11 and start its season Jan. 29, with a 22-game regular season.

The schedule would have the regional tournaments, such as Region VI finished by April 3 and any District Championships finished by April 10.

Much like football, the teams would get scrimmages and would have 60 consecutive days of practice from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. Teams would also have five scrimmages against two outside opponents

The national tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball would start on April 19.

Other sports, such as volleyball would begin practices Jan. 4. Volleyball’s national championships would be moved to April 8-10.

Moving fall sports to the spring could be a game-changer for those December qualifiers. Instead of losing a year of eligibility by playing in the fall, they could transfer in December, retaining an extra year of eligibility.

Rosters may appear to be different as those athletes who leave at mid-year could drastically change how a team looks when they take the field in March.

In Kansas, a seven-game schedule is most likely as the eight-team league already schedules out the seven-game schedule each season, with the Iowa Schools being the “non-conference” opponents. By this proposal, the KJCCC schools would not play the Iowa schools and would only play the conference opponents.

The KJCCC had already made a quiet move in their conference, moving Week 1’s games to the end of the season.

The NJCAA board of regents will vote on the proposal during an emergency board meeting at 2:30 p.m. Monday.