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GENEVA — The cliche of “back in business” doesn’t get old when it references sports returning from COVID-induced hiatus.

Hobart lacrosse was “back in business” last week when it was announced the team was cleared to play. When the Statesmen take the field Saturday against Mount St. Mary’s, they will be the first HWS athletic program to play an intercollegiate competition in nearly a full calendar year.

Soon after, the rest of the Statesmen and the Herons will make their return as well.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Deb Steward announced Monday that all nine of the Colleges’ spring sports will return to competition this season. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Liberty League, which committed to conducting a full slate of spring sports championships.

“Athletics teaches many life lessons,” says Steward. “I’m proud of our student-athletes’ resilience, dedication and commitment. We will continue to be vigilant with our health and safety protocols as we take this long-awaited next step.”

Yesterday’s announcement cleared the way for eight more teams to join Hobart lacrosse in competition this spring: Hobart golf, William Smith golf, William Smith lacrosse, Hobart rowing, William Smith rowing, Hobart tennis, William Smith tennis and HWS sailing.

The Colleges and their conference partners will adhere to a shared set of standards on testing, travel and game day operations related to COVID-19 that meet or exceed the requirements of the NCAA as well as state and local health departments.

With a focus on the health and safety of student-athletes, spectators will not be permitted at any HWS sports venues.

Hobart lacrosse, which competes in Division I as a member of the Northeast Conference, will play an eight-game NEC schedule beginning Saturday.

The eight HWS teams cleared for play will participate in a similarly condensed schedule focused on conference competition. Those schedules will be announced later this month. The slates for golf, lacrosse, tennis and William Smith rowing will meet the NCAA required number of contests to be eligible for the NCAA Championships.

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