Sports briefs

Newton Kansan

NAIA setsguidelines

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released updated guidelines for the restart of fall sports programs for its member schools, of which Bethel College is one.

According to the guidelines, “The threshold goal is for approximately half the participating institutions in each sport to receive clearance from local authorities to return to competition before the season can begin. (For example, NAIA football has 95 participating institutions. When 47 of these programs gain clearance from authorities to play, the NAIA football season will be authorized to begin.)”

Goals for other sports include 110 schools for cross country, 101 schools for men’s soccer, 105 schools for women’s soccer and 110 schools for women’s volleyball.

These thresholds must be met by Aug. 15.

“If the number of participating programs falls below 50 percent during the season, the (National Administrative Council) Executive Committee will assess the individual program’s status and championship options,” the guidelines said.

The start of practice remains at Aug. 15, which allows for three weeks of practice before competition may begin (four weeks for football).

The competition limits are listed below.

Cross Country: 4 (minimum) to 7 meets (maximum)

Football: 6 (minimum) to 9 games (maximum)

Men’s and Women’s soccer: 8 (minimum) to 14 games (maximum)

Women’s volleyball: 13 matches (minimum) to 22 dates (maximum)

Each member school is responsible “to implement proper health and safety measures for its general campus operations that are consistent with campus policies and requirements of local and state governments.”

Coaches, student-athletes and “those in close contact with student-athletes” are required to be screened each day before a practice or team activity may occur. On competition days, that screening should take place within six hours of the start of the competition.

All screening must be done by an athletic trainer or designated health care professional.

If multiple student-athletes on a single team are showing symptoms through the screening process, the institution must assess whether the team should be removed from competition.

According to the guidelines, the decision to allow spectators will be left at the institution and conference level, following local and state criteria.

NAIA reportsgrowth of sport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the weeks since the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced sanctioning of women’s flag football, 15 schools have declared fielding teams for the spring of 2021, enough to give it emerging sport status.

The start of the sport has been a joint effort between the NAIA and the NFL. The schools that declared intent to participate in the upcoming school year have each received a $15,000 grant from the NFL.

When 25 schools have declared intent to participate, the sport will be upgraded to invitational status. When the sport reaches 40 schools, it will be granted full championship status.

"As anticipated, many NAIA member schools have quickly taken advantage of the opportunity to add women's flag football for 2020-21 said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. "The financial assistance provided by the NFL has had a significant impact on participation and the NAIA is grateful for the league's support in this joint venture."

Three schools in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference currently sponsor the sport: Kansas Wesleyan, Ottawa and Saint Mary.

Hesston native Liz Sowers was named head coach at Ottawa.

Dowling hiredat Hutchinson

HUTCHINSON — Delice Downing has been named the head volleyball coach at Hutchinson Community College.

Downing succeeds Patrick Hall, who resigned after nine seasons with the Blue Dragons.

Downing played volleyball, basketball and softball at Coffeyville Community College.

She later went on to play and coach at NCAA Division II University of West Alabama.

In 2005, she became the head volleyball coach at Coffeyville, where she was 432-175 overall, 97-48 in Jayhawk Conference play. Her team won two NJCAA Division II national titles (2017, 2018) and finished third in 2019. Her teams won four Jayhawk Conference East titles in the past four seasons, finishing 36-2 in that span.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Blue Dragon Family,” Downing said. “I am excited to get the ball rolling at this premiere community college. Being a champion is what it is all about and that is the mentality I want to bring to this team and program.

“I want all of my player who come into this program to leave with the full understanding that they are capable of accomplishing any goals they set.”

Hinson namedcoach at USM

LEAVENWORTH — The University of Saint Mary has announced that Andrea Hinson has been named the new head competitive cheer and dance coach.

Hinson previously coached at USM, starting the programs about 10 years ago.

She is a native of Greeley, who attended Pittsburg State.

"It feels so good to be home," Hinson said. "I believe that the University of Saint Mary deserves a spirit program that promotes rich traditions. Over the years our teams are going to create and maintain USM traditions that will allow us to be recognized as one of the best in the nation."