Bucknell University Is The First Patriot League School To Announce Opening Plans

Lisa van der Geest advances the ball

In an announcement published yesterday June 5 at 2:29 pm the Bucknell University administration has published their fall plans. The school will begin residential education on August 17, one week earlier than usual. The fall break will be eliminated and classes will end Friday, November 20 and have finals remotely beginning November 30 ending December 7. Other details like freshman orientation are yet to be worked out. They added that plans could be subject to change depending on events. All summer session classes are being conducted remotely. Camps, conferences, clinics, and practices June 1- 30 are cancelled. The July calendar will be announced on June the 8th.

They addressed specifically the question of Bucknell Athletics by announcing the hope that varsity competition will commence this fall provided the University is open to all students and deemed safe for student athletes, coaches and support staff. Final decisions will be made by the University Emergency Response Team with oversight from the Patriot League and the NCAA.

Previously the school had announced the cancellation of a tuition increase scheduled for the 20-21 school year.

Bucknell is following the template of a growing number of colleges and universities to open and finish early in fall and eliminating the fall break. Given it is the first Patriot League school to announce plans it seems to be the growing consensus among many schools. I expect as the coming weeks approach this will be the pattern that will be followed by Lafayette and others. Lafayette and Lehigh have already said they will announce their plans on June 15.

Any major deviation by Patriot League schools for opening classes would play havoc with schedules and preseason practices. All preseason practices are calculated by NCAA rule, based on the start of classes and the first game. My guess is all the League schools have already been coordinating their plans.

Stay tuned!!

Molly McAndrews and Sam Dimiao challenge a Bucknell mid

CAA Adopts ” Extreme Flexibility Model”

The Colonial Athletic Association ( for field hockey Delaware,William and Mary, Notheastern, JMU, Hofstra, Drexel, and Towson) has adopted an interesting scheduling concept for “Olympic” team sports for the 20-21 season. The Extreme Flexibility Model (EFM) is designed to provide teams a way to maximize cost savings associated with regular season travel.

Each CAA school will be able to play the minimum number of contests per sport to maintain NCAA sport sponsorship requirements.( 16 games for field hockey). The unique aspect of the plan is it will NOT be required for any institution to play ANY CAA contests. However, CAA schools could schedule multiple games against each other in the same region. Specific scheduling changes will be announced at a later date!

As I wrote stay tuned!!!

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

5 thoughts on “Bucknell University Is The First Patriot League School To Announce Opening Plans”

  1. The start date of classes has some effect on the first allowable date of practice, because NCAA rules allow for two units of practice prior to a week before class. But a later start to class
    would not seriously affect practices and wouldn’t necessarily affect the schedule at all. Under NCAA rules, the start of practice is governed mostly by the date of a team’s first regular season game, and the first allowable date to schedule a game is the same for every team, regardless of when classes start. Assuming that a school opts to have classes on-site, I doubt they will change that rule. Here are a couple examples:

    Field Hockey: “A member institution shall not commence practice sessions in field hockey prior to the date that permits a maximum of 21 units prior to the first scheduled regular-season intercollegiate contest.” (Note: Units are essentially the same as days.)

    Football: ” An institution shall not commence official preseason football practice sessions before 29 days before its first scheduled intercollegiate game. Before its first scheduled intercollegiate game, an institution may not engage in more than 25 on-field practices. ”

    Of course the one thing that could change everything is if a school opts to have only on-line learning. Then the NCAA might not allow it to play at all.


      1. However, at Lafayette and other similar schools, two a days would not be permitted while classes are in session. Secondly, at Lafayette depending on when freshman orientation begins and when practice is set to start freshman may not be able to fully participate in practices. The Ivies typically start later so we don’t know if they will start earlier if at all!
        Schedule modification from schools in a league like the CAA with an EFM model may want to reschedule games to make up for games that would be dropped because of travel expense.


  2. Two a days are not permitted at any school once classes start, per NCAA rules. They are only factored into the start-date IF a school chooses to use them prior to the start of class. In any year – including this one – they are not relevant to the start date unless a school utilizes them. In most cases, it is accurate to simply say you can start practice 21 days before your first game.


    1. I can say there will be some two a days lost given that classes would be starting early. . So an August 17 start of classes would mean loss of two a days from that date until the first game. ( Assuming the first game is not moved for budget reason at the traveling school). At this stage, the moving or canceling of out of conference games could happen. Thanks for the comments. Well thought out!!!


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