As a result of California's continued restrictions related to the COVID pandemic and the NAIA's decision to move fall championships to the spring semester, the Golden State Athletic Conference will postpone most fall sports conference competition to begin after January 1, 2021.
The GSAC has postponed the conference championship and regular season schedule in the sports of women's volleyball, men's soccer and women's soccer. The GSAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship will remain set for November 7 hosted by William Jessup University.
The postponement was caused by California Governor Newsom's decision to extend restrictions on higher education institutions in California, which affect several of the ten conference members.
Practice and other athletic training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will be permitted in accordance with each institution's state and county regulations as well as their own campus procedures.
While there will be no scheduled conference competition in the fall, each GSAC member institution will make its own determination about non-conference intercollegiate competition.
Two Arizona members of the conference – Arizona Christian University and Ottawa University-Arizona – have already announced their intent to continue with fall intercollegiate athletic competition against non-conference opponents, and may be joined by some California GSAC members from areas less affected by the virus.
The NAIA and the GSAC have been working on Return To Play protocols with the help of the league's athletic trainers and athletic directors for several months. These guidelines will be issued in the coming weeks as student-athletes return to campus.
The winter and spring sports seasons may be adjusted as well by the NAIA. A timeline for conducting all national championships after January 1 will be posted at a later time. Any fall competition for winter and spring sports will need to follow local and state guidelines.
Dr. John Jackson, President of William Jessup University and Chair of the GSAC Board of Directors said, "We deeply regret this decision, but my fellow presidents believe that the governor's lack of clarity about higher education leaves us with no real options. We continue to pray for our amazing student-athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers as they prepare for competition in delayed and altered seasons."
"The climate around the global pandemic has unfortunately not improved in areas of California over the past few weeks," said Commissioner Mike Daniels. "We held out a lot of hope to conduct the fall sports during their normal calendar months, but that is not feasible any longer."
More updates will be posted as the NAIA calendars become more clear.