Bowdoin College Calls Off Fall Sports

Polar Bears Won't Compete In First Semester Sports

Bowdoin College in Brunswick has become the first college in Maine to announce that fall sports has been canceled.

The school’s president, Clayton Rose, released a comprehensive plan for campus life in the fall. It includes having only freshmen and transfer students on campus. Most seniors, juniors and sophomores will take courses on-line for the fall semester.

As for Bowdoin athletics, the plan calls for no participation in fall and winter sports during the fall semester…

Unfortunately, we will not be participating in fall and winter varsity sports during the fall semester. This is one of the very disappointing outcomes of our plan. Athletics is a central part of the Bowdoin experience for many of our students and for the College more generally. NESCAC has not yet determined what will happen with conference play or how coaches in this extraordinary semester may interact with athletes on fall, winter, and spring teams during the fall semester, but I am hopeful that there will be significant opportunities this fall for coaches to work with those athletes who are both on and off campus. Varsity athletes living on campus are likely to have in-person workout opportunities with coaches, but unfortunately, students living off campus will not be permitted to participate in on-campus workouts. Last week, NESCAC released the following statement regarding the fall semester:

NESCAC institutions continue to focus on plans for the 2020–2021 academic year with the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and their communities the primary concern. As institutions finalize their plans for the coming year, federal, state, and local health guidance, as well as institutional policies, will guide their independent decisions regarding reopening.  

Athletics engagement is an important part of the experience for many of our students, and member institutions remain committed to this experience. However, this will not be a traditional fall on campus in any respect, including for athletics. The conference continues to develop plans for the return to athletics, including possible modifications to NESCAC rules to allow institutions flexibility to provide for meaningful experiences for students within school policies and federal, state, and local health directives. We expect to have more details in the weeks ahead and will share information as it becomes available. 

As I have already noted, I am hopeful that there will be an opportunity for the winter, spring, and possibly fall varsity athletes to participate and compete in some form after January 1. – Statement from Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose

The Polar Bears offer fall sports include football, soccer, golf, cross country, sailing, tennis and field hockey. Some of the spring semester sports, like basketball and hockey generally start late in the fall semester.

Two other schools, Colby College in Waterville and Bates College in Lewiston also participate in the NESCAC Conference. Neither school has announced its fall plans yet for athletics.

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