AUSTINTOWN — Wilmington College fall team sports are back.
The Ohio Athletic Conference has announced preliminary spring competition schedules for the three team sports that were postponed this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The schedules, including football, soccer (men and women) and women’s volleyball, feature conference-only competition and do not exceed the NCAA 50-percent waiver so that all student-athletes will retain one of their four seasons of participation.
The schedules are currently planned to begin on the weekend of March 12, 2021 and conclude on the weekend of April 16 with championship games in all sports.
The conference will split into two divisions — East and West. The East Division includes Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, Marietta, Mount Union and Muskingum. The West Division includes Capital, Heidelberg, Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Wilmington.
Each team will play the other four teams in its division (two home, two road) over a five-week period with each team receiving a bye. All games are scheduled on Friday nights at 7 p.m., beginning on Friday, March 12.
On Friday, April 16, the top seeds of each division will meet for the OAC Championship. The No. 2 seeds also will play as well as the No. 3 seeds, No. 4 seeds and No. 5 seeds. The East Division will host the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 games while the West Division will host the No. 2 and No. 4 contests.
Men’s and women’s soccer will take the originally-scheduled fall 2020 round-robin and move it to the spring, beginning on Sunday, March 14. The men and women will play at opposite sites each Sunday and Thursday with the exception of Monday, April 5 after Easter.
Sunday contests will begin at 2 p.m., while Thursday games are either 4 or 7 p.m. at the host’s discretion. On Sunday, April 18, the top seed will host the second seed for the conference championship. The No. 3 seed will host the No. 4 seed, etc., so that all 10 teams play 10 contests.
Women’s volleyball will take the originally-scheduled fall 2020 round-robin and move it to the spring, beginning on Friday, March 12. Matches will be played every Friday night and Tuesday night until the regular season ends on Friday, April 9. Each date will feature a doubleheader match, resulting in a conference double-round robin, with matches starting at 6 and 8 p.m.
After April 9, the league will be seeded from 1-10 with the top four teams earning a spot in the conference semifinals, played on Tuesday, April 13. The highest remaining seed will host the next highest remaining seed on Friday, April 16 for the OAC Championship.
The two non-winners on Tuesday will also meet at the higher seed to complete an 11-date season. The six teams not making the final four will also be afforded 11 dates of competition during the week of April 12 by scheduling closer geographic matches at institutional discretion.