KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Effective March 14, the Heart of America Athletic Conference temporarily suspended all conference competitions for the athletic programs of its 13 member institutions. The league's Council of Presidents (COP) reached the decision on Friday afternoon.
The decision comes based on the continuing developments across the landscape of athletics from the effects of COVID-19.
"We have chosen to exercise an abundance of caution as we move through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 situation," stated Commissioner Lori Thomas. "We will use this time to monitor the ever-changing health crisis and determine the best steps for the health and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches, administration, and fans moving forward."
Heart sports impacted by this decision include men's volleyball, baseball, softball, outdoor track & field, men's golf, and women's golf. On Thursday, the NAIA National Office announced the immediate cancellation of all remaining winter national championships: men's basketball, women's basketball, competitive cheer, competitive dance, and women's wrestling.
With the health, safety, and well-being of student-athletes as a top priority, Heart officials and the COP view this as the right and necessary step to take relative to COVID-19. Conference officials will continue to monitor the situation and continue working closely with the national office on this extremely fluid situation.
Conference officials will continue to meet regularly over the next two weeks with the next public comment on conference competitions to be released in April. If the suspension is lifted, additional updates regarding conference spring championships will be communicated once information is obtained from the national office on their plan for conducting national postseason events this spring.
Decisions on all non-conference sporting events – both in and out of championship season – along with sports not sponsored by the Heart will be determined at the institutional level.