Q&A with SCCC Athletic Director Dan Artamenko

Brock Kappelmann - July 23, 2020 2:38 pm

LIBERAL, Kan.- Earlier this month the NJCAA approved a new structure for the 2020-21 competition and athletic seasons (Latest NJCAA Announcement). The plan is to move most of the Fall and Winter competition seasons to the Spring and will begin in January of 2021. With all of these changes to athletics, we met with the Athletic Director at Seward County Community College Dan Artamenko to discuss what this means for Saints athletics. For a full description of the individual sports and competition dates can be found at the bottom of this Q and A portion.

Q. The NJCAA announced its plans for 2020-21 seasons.  How did we get here, what was discussed?

A. Over the last month, there have been extensive conversations on what the fall would look like.  For us specifically, we had voted in many changes, including reducing schedules, changing the start date for sports, and putting restrictions on when and where games could be played.  However, the inconsistencies between conferences and regions made it tough for us all to get on the same page.  The NJCAA tried to let each Region do what was best, but it became increasingly clear that we needed direction from the national office.

Also, as we moved closer to the reality of bringing students on campus, the more we realized that there were a lot of questions that no one knew the answers to.  Whether you are talking about the non-athletic issues in regards to safety/risk of COVID-19; to the athletic issues of dealing with an outbreak in the middle of a season and trying to complete schedules, there is a lot to figure out.

The postponement to the Spring is not an indicator that the NJCAA believes the virus will go away or that things will be different by January, it is an acknowledgment that we need more time and guidance to determine these answers. The one thing that we all agreed on is that we did not want to have our student-athletes negatively impacted by our decisions and processes.  We did not want to start a volleyball season (potentially impacting future eligibility) and then cancel the season midway.  We were also against playing a very limited schedule, potentially without access to a National Tournament. The NJCAA’s plan gives student-athletes the best chance for the opportunity to complete a full season.  While there will be some issues, I believe this does give us the best chance to complete a full and fair season.

Q. What does this mean for SCCC?

A. The impact will be different for each sport but will also have a big impact on the operations of athletics.  Every sport will have a fall “season” where they will be allowed 2 months (60 consecutive days) of practice and the opportunity to scrimmage.  We are currently working with the KJCCC (Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference) to determine the exact logistics but initially, the KJCCC has determined that the Fall practice season for all sports will be September 15th – November 15th.

Keynote: The NJCAA and KJCCC have authorized that outside of those dates, teams will be allowed the standard 8-hours of team activities every week.  We will look to utilize those 8-hours in the weeks leading up to the practice season as well as on the backend to wrap up our fall activities.

On the scrimmage side, we will be waiting for word form the KJCCC Presidential Council on if they will allow scrimmages this fall, and if they do, what those scrimmages look like.  A vote is not expected on that front until September 1st, but like everything related to COVID, changes may happen quickly.  We will always provide updates as we get them.

Q. What’s next for SCCC Student-Athletes?

The first step is working with campus officials on a safe return to campus and following all the protocols to move into campus housing.  Some students will likely need to quarantine, and we are working on testing solutions to ensure a safe environment for those that move into campus housing. Once students arrive on campus, athletic activities will be restricted to individual workouts organized by the coaching staff. This will allow the students to safely integrate into campus and get used to the new processes across the campus.  We will follow this plan for 2 weeks to ensure the safety of our students.  On September 1st, we will allow our teams to begin full-team workouts, following the guidelines and rules set by the NJCAA and KJCCC.

We will be working over the next month to establish what the protocols will look like for each of our students.  Our athletic training staff and I are constantly reviewing plans and look forward to releasing how Seward will be handling the situation going forward.

Below are the NJCAA season updates, safety protocol documents, and the Cheer safety documents as well.

 

NJCAA COURT VOLLEYBALL

Fall Practice Season

• Permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020.

• Allowed five (5) scrimmage dates in total for the year, with a maximum of two (2) scrimmage dates allowed in the spring. Each scrimmage limited to no more than two outside opponents.

Spring Championship Season

• Practice will be permitted to begin starting on January 11, 2021.

• Competition will be permitted to begin starting on January 29, 2021.

• Maximum of 21 competition dates.

• All regular season, region, and district competition completed by April 3, 2021.

• NJCAA Volleyball Championships held April 15-17, 2021.

 

 NJCAA MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Fall Practice Season

• Permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020.

• Allowed five (5) scrimmage dates in total for the year, with a maximum of two (2) scrimmage dates allowed in the spring. Each scrimmage limited to no more than two outside opponents.

Spring Championship Season

• Practice will be permitted to begin starting on January 11, 2021. • Competition will be permitted to begin starting on January 22, 2021.

• Maximum of 22 games.

• All regular season, region, and district championship competition completed by April 10, 2021.

• NJCAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships beginning April 19, 2021.

 

NJCAA BASEBALL

Fall Practice Season

• Permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020.

• Maximum of 15 scrimmages (no dates) against outside competition.

Spring Championship Season

• Practice will be permitted to begin starting on January 10, 2021.

• Competition will be permitted to begin starting on January 22, 2021.

• Maximum of 56 games (not dates) against outside competition.

• All regular season, region, and district competition completed by May 23, 2021.

• NJCAA Division I Baseball World Series held May 29, 2021 – June 4/5, 2021.

 

NJCAA SOFTBALL

Fall Practice Season

• Permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020.

• Maximum of seven (7) scrimmage dates against outside competition.

Spring Championship Season

• Practice will be permitted to begin starting on January 10, 2021.

• Competition will be permitted to begin starting on January 22, 2021.

• Maximum of 30 dates against outside competition.

• All regular season, region, and district competition completed by May 19, 2021.

• NJCAA Division I Softball Championship held May 25-29, 2021.

 

NJCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S, DIVISION I MEN’S & DIVISION III MEN’S TENNIS

Fall Practice Season

• Permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15, 2020 – November 15, 2020.

• Maximum of 35 dates against outside competition combined between fall and spring.

Spring Championship Season

• Practice will be permitted to begin starting on January 10, 2021.

• Competition will be permitted to begin starting on January 22, 2021.

• NJCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship held May 1-5, 2021.

• NJCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship held May 17-21, 2021.

 

Latest NJCAA Announcement

NJCAA COVID-19 Update – Safety Protocol Recommendations

USA Cheer “Return to Cheer and STUNT” Guidelines

 

 

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