Hockey Commissioners Association Postpones NCAA Season, NCHC Aims to Start Nov. 20

To the shock of absolutely nobody, the NCAA Hockey season is officially postponed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement released by the Hockey Commissioners’ Association,  made up of the commissioners of every hockey conference, both men’s and women’s, each of the 11 conferences had been working closely together to come to a decision on how to move forward with the 2020-2021 season. As a result of the collaboration, each conference will make its own decisions on how to start competition this Fall or Winter, further indicating that there will likely be no non-conference play. Denver’s conference, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), announced in a follow-up statement, that it is currently planning to start play on or after November 20.

While this likely means that there will be no nonconference play this season – Denver was scheduled to play Arizona State, Air Force, Boston College, Providence, and Alaska Anchorage – the good news is that the college hockey conferences fully plan to have some semblance of a season. For the NCHC, starting in mid-November would essentially give the conference the ability to play a normal conference schedule as conference play generally starts around that time in a normal year.

“The health and safety of all involved across the campus communities, particularly our student-athletes, is the top priority,” said NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton in the NCHC’s statement. “We fully expect NCHC hockey to be back this season. As COVID-19 continues to have an impact on higher education, we have an obligation to host athletic competitions in a safe and responsible manner. We are committed to doing everything we conceivably can to provide competitive experiences that our student-athletes deserve. This delay affords us valuable time to continue formulating plans to start the season successfully.”

When searching for Denver Hockey’s schedule, viewers are greeted with this message, updated as of today. The previously contemplated schedule has been scrapped.

While the schedule has been scrapped, the NCHC is still working through a number of different schedule scenarios with a variety of contemplated start dates. As far as returning to practice, each program will have to navigate that according to NCAA rules and in conjunction with state and local regulations.

Though it has not yet been explicitly stated, when the NCHC does resume play, it will likely do so without fans in attendance, though that could change if conditions dramatically improve over the next two months.

For now, at least, mark your calendars for November 20. The puck will eventually drop and even though that date isn’t quite etched in stone, there is something to look forward to for now at least.

Be sure to check back on LetsGoDU.com for any further news regarding the college hockey season and NCAA season in general as it breaks. We will continue to bring you the most up-to-date information as we can.

5 thoughts on “Hockey Commissioners Association Postpones NCAA Season, NCHC Aims to Start Nov. 20”

  1. I’m guessing that attendence will be determined by state and local guidelines. This is going to be a costly proposition for most programs as hockey tickets and concessions drive revenue to cover travel costs. Expect college hoops to follow the same timeline and trajectory as both sports have been in close contact with each other regarding a restart of sports.

  2. Hate to say this, but without fans — or with limited fans — makes sense (if the season starts) for basketball to play exclusively in the Hamilton gym to avoid the expense of repeatedly installing and removing the basketball court. I know it’s not a “D-1” experience, but given the circumstances.

  3. I mean I’m bummed I likely won’t be there in person but a conference only schedule in the always stacked NCHC will be a chance for DU to show what it’s got – same reason I’m looking forward to the SEC playing a conf only sked

  4. The Nov. 20 start date seems doable for a no-fans-in-the rink hockey experience if Covid stays the way it is now…

    But I expect we’re going to see more infections on the DU campus in the next few weeks, and I think by October, I would not be surprised if all colleges are back to online as the primary mode of instruction. My guess is that the hockey start date will then get pushed back to January. If it’s still bad in January and colleges aren’t comfortable with operating sports, then we’re in deep trouble, as key DU players will vacate DU for other hockey options if Juniors, minor pro and Europe are operational and college hockey is not…

    I agree there is little point in rolling out the whole basketball setup at Magness this year – Hamilton will do fine for both men and women, especially if no fans are in there.

    This pandemic sucks, but you know that already…

    It’s really sad that DU students are getting a vasty inferior DU campus experience – academically, socially and athletically, versus the great experience that is normally delivered…

  5. An ominous foreboding of things to come I’m afraid.

    I just hope for the sake of the players, the coaches, the program, and NCAA hockey in general, there is some semblance of a season. At this point I’ve accepted the reality that I won’t be going to any games in person this season, but I hope these guys can at least play and have a season. Weird times…….

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