These have not been the best times for outdoor sports globally, following the surge of Coronavirus cases. The soccer season was disrupted as authorities sought to find a balance to accommodate all sectors amid the pandemic. When the virus was reported in late February in the United States, schools had to shut down to curb the spread.
The spring season was midway, but there was no other way but to cancel it. Life mattered most, and sacrifices had to be made.
During the last fall, when COVID-19 was hitting its climax, the HCAC was looking for ways to restructure sports programs. It wasn’t an easy task, and fall events had to be moved to spring. It meant that even activities such as soccer betting had to wait or go virtual until things normalized.
Almost one year later, it is going to be a unique season for soccer. The spring season was halted halfway last year, and for the first time, we’ll see spring and fall soccer teams competing simultaneously. For AU, it means everything will be doubled, from events to the participants, and so on. Punters with Betway can look forward to an event-filled season.
“Having survived the fall we all have an understanding of what the protocols are in place with COVID and training. Over the past few months, the NCAA has changed the risk level for some sports, so instead of phasing in and pods in the fall, most sports are able to start right away with full practices given their individual testing requirements.” Remarked Jennifer Myhre, the AU Women’s soccer coach. “The new challenge this spring with competitions will be the travel protocols and then ensuring the opponent is able to play as well. There will likely be some adjustments with schedules throughout the spring. The athletic department and athletic trainers have put in a lot of time and effort to help prepare for the season with all the COVID protocols to keep us as healthy and safe as possible.”
It is easy to say that coaches have had all the time to plan for the coming seasons, but it will not be all smooth. There are, and there will be challenges to deal with. According to men’s soccer coach Scott Fridley, the biggest challenge so far has been having to train as limited groups. He argues that nothing comes close to playing as a full team and that there are several limitations when teams are divided in small groups.
Coach Myher also explained how difficult it has been scheduling games. “For the fall and winter sports competitions, this spring will be conference only. Each sport’s schedule is set differently based on the NCAA’s classification of COVID risk and COVID testing requirements. Most sports will be playing a modified schedule. Football and Men’s and Women’s soccer are playing each conference school once. Basketball split the conference in pods and are playing the same institution home and away in a few day window and then will have a blind draw with everyone for a conference tournament playoff. Volleyball is able to play twice a week, but are required to wear a mask while playing. Spring sports schedules are mainly conference schools, as well and likely playing each school two to three times.”
Remember, you can bet on both men’s and women’s soccer with Betway, one of the leading sportsbooks.