Up to 25% capacity will be allowed for 2021 NCAA winter championships and last year’s Division I fall championships, which were delayed to this spring. The NCAA says exact percentages will vary depending on the site and state and local COVID-19 protocols, but finalized announcements will be made before each championship.
The NCAA says winter sports championships include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey and rifle and spring sports include baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s volleyball.
The announcement comes in addition to the NCAA’s plans for its men’s and women’s basketball championships, which were detailed last week.
“Our partnership with state and local health authorities will continue to be vital to providing safe championship experiences,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline said. “Each championship site presents different circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and, therefore, allow varied capacities. Still, team testing and safety protocols will remain consistent as our No. 1 priority surrounding all championships remains the safety and well-being of all involved.”
The organization says championships hosted in locations where spectators are not permitted or where the site is determined to lack capacity, only essential personnel will be allowed inside the venue. Event capacities will include all participants, essential staff and family of each team’s players and coaches, and where allowed, a reduced number of fans.
“The national office is working very hard to provide the best experience possible for student-athletes who missed out on these championship opportunities last year,” Senior Vice President of Championships Joni Comstock said. “Although this year’s championships may be different, we are committed to providing a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience for all student-athletes.”
The NCAA says all attendees must wear face coverings and socially distance from others during the event, and that thorough cleaning and safety measures will be priorities at all venues. All events are also planned to be livestreamed to allow fans to catch the action.