TAYLOR COUNTY—More changes appear to be coming as the Mountain East Conference announced last week its updated plans for fall athletic competition.
The strategy, which was approved by the MEC Board of Directors, is to stage competitions based on the “public health conditions in the geographic footprint of the Mountain East Conference, and continue to be developed in consultation with local health officials and medical professionals,” according to a statement issued by the university.
The updated return-to-play plan continues to maintain the elimination of non-conference competition for fall and winter team sports, and also includes the following modifications:
•A delay in the start of official practice for football until September 7th, and a date of September 14th for all other fall sports.
•A delay in the start of fall sports competition no earlier than October 1st.
•Contests in team sports originally scheduled for September 4th-30th will be now be played in the spring. Dates listed within the previously announced schedules for October and November will be kept the same.
•Men’s and women’s basketball are scheduled to begin competition in the fall semester under the updated plan.
•Conference tournaments for men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s cross country are still scheduled for the fall but delayed from their previously announced dates. Dates and locations for those championships are still being considered.
•Conference tournaments for men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be scheduled for the spring semester.
•The conference can ultimately make determinations to delay certain sports based on the level of contact risk in relation to existing public health conditions and/or other health and safety concerns.
According to GoBattlers.com, the official website of Alderson Broaddus athletics, “The Mountain East Conference is developing alternative strategies in order to maximize the opportunity for a meaningful student-athlete experience should public health conditions not permit the return to practice and/or competition in the timeline proposed within this revised plan. The alternative plans include a further delay to the start of competition until later in October and, if ultimately necessary, a move of all fall competition to the spring semester. The activation of any alternative plans will be based on the efficacy of re-socialization of member campuses, local health conditions and in consultation with public health officials and medical professionals and would be announced at the appropriate time.”
MEC Commissioner Reid Amos also made a statement regarding the modified plans of the conference and how they plan to approach appropriate safety protocols moving forward.
“This announcement of our adjusted plans demonstrates our commitment to the well-being of our student-athletes and campus communities as well as our efforts to provide a meaningful experience for our student-athletes through competition this fall if public health conditions allow,” Amos explained. “These plans give us the necessary time and flexibility to consider re-socialization on our campuses as well as the public health implications specific to the geographic areas of our institutions while maintaining the health and safety of our student-athletes as our chief priority.”