New England Hockey Conference cancels 2020-21 league schedule and postseason tournament
The Directors of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) have come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2020-21 league regular season schedule and championship tournament. Despite this news, I remain committed to working with our coaches and Director of Athletics to identify ways our student athletes can compete this season.
Our men’s and women’s hockey teams are both part of the NEHC, and now join our GNAC winter sport teams of men’s and women’s basketball, as well as men’s and women’s swimming and diving, in having their league seasons and championships cancelled. At this time, we do not have an update on the status of the wrestling championship.
We are disappointed with the loss of the GNAC and NEHC seasons, but are continuing to pursue opportunities to allow our winter sport student athletes to safely compete against other schools, in compliance with NCAA and State of Vermont guidelines. The development of these options are ongoing and will continue through the fall and winter breaks.
An option we are working aggressively is a plan to submit to the State of Vermont that would allow us to hold intercollegiate competition for our seven varsity winter sports teams beginning in January.
In the event we are allowed to participate in winter intercollegiate competition, under current rules fans will not be permitted in the stands at any Norwich home event. If that restriction remains in place when competition begins, we will do our best to live video stream as many home athletic contests as possible to allow our fans, parents, and alumni to stay connected to their favorite Norwich athletic programs.
At this time, we do not have an update on GNAC spring sports. We will continue our discussions with the GNAC and expect to make a decision on the status of spring sports and regular season and championship competition by December 15th.
As with winter sports, even if GNAC votes to cancel the spring conference games, I will pursue options for our student athletes to safely compete against other schools willing to play against us.
Thank you for your understanding and support through these difficult times. Like you, I look forward to the return to normal campus activities, including athletics, as soon as possible. “I Will Try” is our motto; in this spirit, we will be working hard to give our student athletes the opportunity to compete they have earned through their exemplary conduct during the most complex and challenging times in anyone’s memory.
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark C. Anarumo, PhD
Col, USAF (ret) President