NESCAC cancels winter sports season amid safety concerns

The Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center is pictured on Aug. 28. Nicole Garay / The Tufts Daily

The NESCAC has canceled the 2020–21 winter sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sidelining the Jumbos for another season. The respective presidents of the 11 NESCAC schools announced the decision in a joint statement on Thursday.

The decision was made because of COVID-19 policies at each of the NESCAC institutions addressing off-campus travel, campus visitors and physical distancing.

In addition, some NESCAC schools have made or are considering making adjustments to their academic calendars for the spring semester, which would limit “time to conduct meaningful conference play,” according to the release. Many winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, traditionally begin their conference schedules in mid-January around the beginning of the spring semester.

The cancellation only applies to the NESCAC regular season and postseason competitions, leaving the option open for individual schools to schedule non-conference competitions. At this time, Tufts has not made any announcements about scheduling any non-conference competitions for any of the nine winter sports.

Winter teams can continue to practice, work out and participate in leadership activities in accordance with public health guidelines, as fall teams have been doing in recent months.  

As of now, there is no timeline for a decision from either the NESCAC or Tufts about the spring 2021 season.


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