With the announcement by the NCAA Division I Council this week regarding the start of college basketball, the start for volleyball and soccer was decided as well.
DU women’s volleyball will be allowed to begin play as early as January 22nd while men’s and women’s soccer will start February 3rd. With an average high temperature of 49 and low temperature of 21 for February in Denver, expect some chilly early-season soccer matches. Add the Dakotas to the mix and the weather and travel across the northern tier Summit League could be challenging to say the least.
The regular seasons will conclude in the second half of April. The women’s volleyball final four would take place April 23-25, while in soccer the Men’s College Cup and Women’s College Cup would each take place May 13-17.
The NCAA selection committee elected to reduce the championship field by 25%, with the reductions coming from at-large selections. Women’s and Men’s soccer and volleyball would each have 48-team brackets, with 17 at-large teams in soccer and 16 at-large teams in volleyball. In a mid-major conference like the Summit League, that means that DU most certainly will have to win the conference to make the NCAA championship field.
DU men’s and women’s lacrosse are expected to start in February as well so we could see overlapping events this spring at the University of Denver. Understandably, there has still been no word or guidance on fan attendance but you should anticipate little or no fan attendance based on the current state and local guidance. The NCAA appears to be deferring to local and state guidelines across the board rather than instituting a national policy.
Some schools have begun fall play, such as the ACC and the Big 12, and these schools will be allowed to play championship-segment games in both fall and spring. In practice, this means women’s soccer teams in those conferences would be allowed to spread the 20 regular-season games they are allowed across fall and spring.