MASCAC announces cancellation of winter sports

Staff Reports
Published: 11/13/2020 11:39:17 AM

The oldest Division III conference in the NCAA has decided it won’t be participating in winter sports due to COVID-19.

The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) announced Friday that it is cancelling the winter season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“After an in-depth review of the information from the state and NCAA, consultation among the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Presidents, athletic directors, and athletic trainers and after exhausting all possibilities, including a review of the risks involved, the eight MASCAC Presidents have made the difficult decision to cancel all winter sports competition,” the conference said in a statement. “This includes the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.”

Locally, the MASCAC includes Westfield State University, and is a popular destination for Franklin County student-athletes with other institutions like Worcester State, Framingham State and Bridgewater State.

“Similar to the fall sports, the state universities are planning to provide winter sport student-athletes with on-campus, in-person practices, conditioning and training opportunities throughout their traditional season to support their physical and mental well-being,” the statement continued. “These practice and training opportunities will not use a year of NCAA Eligibility and will be done in compliance with the campus, state, federal and NCAA COVID guidance and protocols.”

Affiliates will be able to schedule nonconference contests at their discretion.

“We explored countless scenarios to find a safe path forward with the evolving recommendations and policies from the NCAA and the state for our winter sport student-athletes,” said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. “After consultation with our medical staff and athletic directors, the MASCAC Presidents came to the conclusion there is not a way to ensure the safety of our student-athletes and staff with off campus winter competition, the risks are far too great.”


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