NAIA fall championship dates set for spring

The Herald Staff

The NAIA spring dates for its fall sports championships are set. The National Administrative Committee convened to approve the new dates, and in some cases, new locations, for the spring of 2021.

In the last week of July, the NAIA Council of Presidents voted to postpone 2020 fall national championships to the spring. This move also allowed NAIA conferences and institutions the autonomy to schedule games as they see fit, playing entire schedules in the fall, spring, or a hybrid of both seasons. Football, women's soccer, men's soccer, women's volleyball, and men's and women's cross-country national championships were all affected by this decision.

“We feel good about resetting these dates after taking a good look at our fall championship events, and being able to find dates that fit for our membership and our most of our host venues,” said Bill Popp, president of the NAIA National Administrative Council and Director of Athletics at Reinhardt (Ga.). “This was a tough task and the group that has been working together both from the national office and NAC have really done an exceptional job. My hat is off to them for the hard work.”

The NAIA football national championship has been rescheduled to occur on a Monday for the first time. The championship will remain at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium at Grambling State University and will take place 6 p.m. Monday, May 10, 2021.

The NAIA women's soccer national championship has been relocated from Orange Beach, Ala., just 7 miles away to Foley, Ala., at the Ralph Schumacher Soccer Complex as the Orange Beach Sportsplex undergoes construction. The rescheduled national championship will take place from April 27-May 3, hosted by Foley Sports Tourism. Women's soccer will return to Orange Beach once again in the fall of 2021.

The NAIA men's soccer national championship also will make a move and will switch coasts to the east. Due to scheduling conflicts with the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., the men's national championship will be played in Columbia County, Ga., May 4-10, 2021.

The NAIA women's volleyball will be staying put in Sioux City, Iowa, for the 13th consecutive year, April 27-May 1.

In both men's and women's cross country, a new date was established in April as both coaches and student-athletes will navigate the difficulty of having the sports of track and field and cross country at the same time. The rescheduled cross-country national championship will take place on April 9, 2021, and will remain in Cedar Rapids at Seminole Valley Park, hosted by Cedar Rapids Tourism.