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Georgia defensive specialist Brynn Chandler (12) serves. The Georgia volleyball team lost to the University of Missouri Tigers 3-1 on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

On Thursday, the SEC announced new start dates and adjusted formats for all fall sports besides football. This decision comes two weeks after the NCAA announced it would be canceling all fall sports championships besides football.

Soccer

The Georgia women’s soccer team will contain an eight-match, conference-only season spanning eight weeks. The season begins on Sept. 18 and will conclude at the SEC championship tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama, from Nov. 13-22. All 14 conference teams will compete and are guaranteed at least two matches.

Georgia soccer head coach Billy Lesesne was appreciative of Georgia president Jere Morehead and athletic director Greg McGarity for the work amid a time with “significant challenges.” 

“The news today of our fall season model is both exciting to our student-athletes and an opportunity to thank so many people for their dedication toward the health and safety [of] our soccer program,” Lesesne said.  “Our student-athletes have been on campus since late June preparing daily for this opportunity.”

Georgia will also be eligible to play in spring competitions, with the final details dependent on the NCAA’s decision on spring championships. 

Cross country

The Georgia cross country season will run from Sept. 11 to Oct. 23 and the program is required to compete in a minimum of two and a maximum of three events during the seven weeks of competition. There are no restrictions on what schools the cross country team may compete with other than its opponent having to adhere to SEC testing protocols the week of the meet.

The season will conclude at the SEC championship on Oct. 30 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Volleyball

The Georgia volleyball team will have an eight-match, conference-only schedule which starts on Oct. 17 and lasts six weeks. The Bulldogs will compete against four opponents total and will play each opponent in consecutive days in the same weekend.

Similar to soccer, volleyball will be eligible to compete during the spring depending on the decision made by the NCAA.

"We’re excited by the decision of the SEC to be able to compete this fall as well as be eligible for spring play,” volleyball head coach Tom Black said. “The testing and care for our student-athletes has been remarkable. We’re thankful to be able to play.”

Tennis and golf

Georgia women’s and men’s tennis and women’s and men’s golf will all have similar changes to the format of their fall seasons. All four programs will be able to compete in as many as three team events that begin no earlier than Oct. 1. These competitions may feature only SEC teams or non-conference programs from the same geographical region.

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