Horizon League and Midwest Conference limit fall sports competition

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 6:13 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The COVID-19 fallout is starting to affect collegiate fall sports in Northeast Wisconsin. On Thursday, the Horizon League and Midwest Conference details new limitations on fall competition.

In the Division 1-based Horizon League, October 1st will be the jumping off point for any fall competition.

In a statement forward by UW-Green Bay, the Horizon League writes:

“Guided by its core value of student-athlete well-being, the Horizon League Council decided on Thursday, July 16 to delay the start of fall competition for all sports (championship and non-championship) with the understanding that if competition occurs, it will not begin before October 1.

The decision allows each campus to further focus on ensuring return to competition protocols uphold the Council’s principle of safety and can be reasonably implemented. The delay in competition includes all exhibition, League and non-League contests in all sports (championship and non-championship).

Decisions related to training and practice will be left to members’ discretion. Rescheduling of non-conference contests impacted by the postponed start of the fall seasons will be determined by each school. The Horizon League’s Council will continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19, and will evaluate fall schedules and competitions with the understanding that there may be future changes.

The Council will continue to be guided by our top priority: the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. The Horizon League Council consists of the 12 member institutions’ athletic directors, chairpersons of the Senior Woman’s Administrators and Faculty Athletic Representatives and a student-athlete.”

In the Division 3-based Midwest Conference (MWC), non-conference competition is to be completely banned. That means the earlier St. Norbert, Lawrence University, and Ripon College are now scheduled to play football games is the last week of September.

In a statement, St. Norbert says:

“With a majority of Midwest Conference member institutions making public announcements about plans for education this fall, the league’s Presidents’ Council met Wednesday to discuss the fall sport season. At this time the Midwest Conference will continue to move forward with planning for a fall season but will eliminate all non-conference competition.

The first games for most colleges will begin in late September. St. Norbert College will update its online schedules as new schedules are developed and released.

Additionally, MWC colleague Grinnell College has already cancelled all competition through its Fall 1 Term. The MWC COVID-19 Working Group will continue its efforts toward the development of a common set of criteria for the screening and monitoring of COVID-19 in order to protect the health of student-athletes and college communities when intercollegiate competition resumes. The presidents are in consensus that close monitoring of the COVID-19 landscape is ongoing and fall competition may not occur if public health guidance changes in the coming weeks. Further announcements regarding Midwest Conference athletics for 2020-21 will be released in the weeks ahead.”

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