The Empire 8 Athletic Conference, of which Hartwick College is a member, announced on Feb. 16 that its presidents council has voted unanimously to have a spring sports season.
“We're excited,” Empire 8 Associate Commissioner Joe Venniro said. “We're excited to get back in the swing of things here.”
The conference also announced that will mandate testing above what the NCAA requires for low- and moderate-risk sports.
“The NCAA testing guidelines, the Empire 8 (guidelines) that we're adopting for the lower/medium-risk sports, are more robust,” Venniro said.
“We're mandating that you test at least once per week and if you are traveling to a game you're mandated to test 48 hours beforehand,” he added.
Despite the conference's decision, individual schools will still have to operate within the confines of federal, state and local health guidelines.
“Every county is different and every institution is different in this sense, so kind of really the county guidelines are sometimes going to take precedence — so it's just being flexible,” Venniro said.
The conference has not yet released its spring sports schedules, but the Hartwick College sports affected by the announcement are baseball, outdoor track and field, lacrosse, softball, tennis and volleyball.
The Empire 8's decision to proceed with its spring sports season comes in the wake of a July 15 decision to postpone the conference's fall sports season.
The conference also announced on Nov. 24 that it would proceed with winter sports this spring. This decision impacted basketball, indoor track and field and swimming and diving.
The Empire 8 comprises Alfred University, Elmira College, Hartwick College, Houghton College, Keuka College, Nazareth College, Russell Sage College, St. John Fisher College and Utica College.
The Daily Star reached out to Hartwick Athletic Director John Czarnecki via phone and email but did not receive a response by press time.