Cross country, logging sports and eSports will be offered at Finger Lakes Community College in the fall semester under an amended athletics plan that has been approved this week.
The plan aligns with the safety guidelines set forth by state officials as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association. FLCC is a Division III competitor in the NJCAA’s Region III.
Logging sports does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NJCAA, as FLCC’s men’s and women’s teams compete against mostly four-year institutions from across the Northeast. The teams’ fall competition schedule will be determined largely by participation among competitors.
Men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be moved to the spring semester in adherence with the NJCAA’s plan announced earlier this month. The teams, however, will be permitted to hold a limited number of low-density practices during the fall semester. The men’s and women’s basketball season is slated to begin in January.
“This has been a challenging time for college athletics as we balance the need to keep our student athletes safe while also trying to develop a plan to return to play,” said Samantha Boccacino, FLCC’s director of athletics. “This path forward allows for engaging opportunities for our student athletes while prioritizing their health and safety. We are looking forward to seeing our Lakers return.”
Practices for the fall season will be largely held outside and condensed to small groups at staggered meeting times. The men’s and women’s cross country teams, coached by Jayden Donahue, train on the Bruce Bridgman Course on the grounds of the 250-acre main campus. Logging sports teams, coached by Ryan Staychock, practice in the Marty Dodge Woodsmen Field adjacent to the Student Center.
Additional safety measures will include regular health screenings for athletes and coaches, social distancing, mask use whenever possible, disinfection, and COVID-19 education. No spectators will be allowed in adherence with a state mandate for collegiate athletics.
Athletes in the eSports program may be the least impacted, as players can practice and play in their homes. FLCC became the first to offer a varsity esport team in Region III of the NJCAA and the second institution in the State University of New York to do so.
“The digital world is where eSports thrives and our student athletes are already fully prepared to engage in Overwatch, Rainbow 6: Siege, League of Legends, and Smash Ultimate this coming fall,” said Michael VanEtten, a faculty member and coach of the program. “In cooperation with the NJCAA, we’re expanding our reach into new regional conferences with area colleges. In a time when engagement is absolutely critical to continued student success, eSports is thrilled to provide this opportunity.”