The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) announced last week their plans for the conference guidelines of the 2020-2021 season. The EIWA recognized that many of their member schools are associated with other conferences and therefore may by subject to restrictions set in place by their conferences and state regulations. The goal of the EWIA's decision is to create a schedule that will maximize the number of bouts for each wrestler. Being that recommended competition will begin no sooner than January 1 of the new year, the priority of the EIWA will be focused solely on dual meets with the opportunity for limited tournament play. Like the Academy, the EIWA is focused on ensuring the health and safety of all wrestlers, staffs and campuses involved.
“We respect the guidelines put in place by the EIWA as a way to best keep our wrestlers healthy," Army Director of Athletics Mike Buddie said. “We will continue to find any safe opportunity for our athletes to compete this year as athletics are essential to the 47-month cadet experience necessary to prepare our cadet-athletes for officership in the United States Army.” With the landscape of athletics continuously changing, Army West Point will continue to make decisions in the best interest of its cadet-athletes. The priority continues to be the health and safety of the cadet-athletes, staff, coaches, and loyal fan base.
The conference announced that they intend to continue to make decisions with the following guidelines in mind:
- Practice during the fall semester is permitted
- Recommended competition will begin no sooner than Jan. 1, 2021
- Some potential opponents may not be able to compete at times
- Current preliminary schedules are not going to be possible
- Non-conference matches are permitted but will by necessity be minimal and might be limited to regional opponents
- The EIWA Championship tournament will take place as scheduled, at Cornell University on the weekend of March 5-7
- All plans are subject to change
“Head Coaches collectively in our conference, and in large part, around the nation have arrived at the decision that competition prior to January 1 probably isn't in the best interest of our sport. We are fortunate that our AD and Superintendent see the value in NCAA competition, and we will continue to explore competition opportunities,” said head coach Kevin Ward. “As always, the physical, mental, and emotional health of our wrestlers will be at the forefront of our minds in every decision we make. Our guys love to compete, and we look forward to stepping on the mat at the first opportunity.”
The coaches from each of the conference schools will continue to work together to adjust the approach to the season as needed.