HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) will implement round-robin scheduling in the sport of football beginning with the 2017 season. The NESCAC Presidents voted to support converting the annual scrimmage each school plays into a regular season game.
“We are pleased to move to a full, round-robin schedule for football,” said Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Chair of the Conference Committee. “Converting the scrimmage to a regular season game solves challenges institutions had finding opponents to play in a scrimmage and supports our efforts to improve safety.”
Converting the scrimmage into a regular-season contest will allow the 10 schools that sponsor football to play each other. This change will also result in fewer live contact practices for teams as they prepare for a game rather than a scrimmage. The NESCAC head football coaches fully supported the change and reduction in contact practices.
The coaches also unanimously agreed to continue their current practice of players not engaging in live tackling during practice once in-season.
“Moving to full round robin alleviates the difficulty institutions encountered trying to schedule scrimmages due to our later start date,” stated NESCAC Executive Director Andrea Savage. “Additionally, reducing the number of contact practices supports our continuing efforts on enhancing health andsafety.”
The 2017 NESCAC football season begins on September 16, click here for the composite schedule.
For Tufts, the ninth game will be a home game against Hamilton College that will open the 2017 season on September 16.
"Thank you to everyone involved in making this happen," Jumbo head coach Jay Civetti said. "Seeing the value in extending the season, adding that ninth game, is a historical movement for the league. As a coach in the league, and as a alum of the NESCAC (Trinity College 2001), it's a tremendous honor to be a part of this. It's an exciting time.
"I think it shows the foward thinking by our presidents, and I thank (Tufts) President Monaco directly, our Athletic Director John Morris and Andrea Savage from NESCAC for helping to make this happen," Civetti continued. "I think it will improve our opportunities to coach more and have more time with our kids with an in-season focus, and continue to build on the initiative that the NESCAC has had to protect our kids."
Majority of press release courtesy of NESCAC