Mid-American Conference Delaying Fall Sports Until September 3

Photo Courtesy: Mid-American Conference

The Mid-American Conference announced Friday that it will be postponing the start of its Olympic fall sports (field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country) competition until September 3.

The NCAA has not mandated a decision regarding the play of fall sports, leaving it up to the individual conferences to make separate decisions. Some have cancelled fall sports entirely, deeming it unsafe to conduct athletics while COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, and some have postponed with the intention of playing in the spring.

The Mid-American Conference has decided to take an optimistic approach that the virus will be contained by Labor Day, saying that the decision will provide additional time to prepare for the safe return to competition on an adjusted timeline.

This decision applies to exhibition and non-conference games and will align with the start of football season, allowing all fall competition to begin at the same time.

But with the NCAA allowing each conference to make its own decision with fall sports, that puts every athlete across the nation at a disadvantage. If not every conference agrees to play sports, then it will become unfair to crown a national champion at the end of the year. And if a national champion is crowned, it will have to come with an asterisk since not every team participated.

Rescheduling of non-conference contests impacted by the postponed start of the fall seasons will be determined by each member institution.

The Mid-American Conference and its member institutions will continue to assess the latest developments related to COVID-19 in weighing the potential impact on fall schedules.

The Mid-American Conference has eight schools that sponsor swimming and diving, which at this point remains unaffected. Those schools are: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Miami, Ohio and Toledo, as well as men’s affiliate members Evansville, Missouri State & Southern Illinois.