The Big West Conference announced on Wednesday the postponement of fall sports through the end of the calendar year due to health risks as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The postponement means that men’s and women’s soccer, cross country and women’s volleyball will have their seasons delayed until January at the earliest.
“Health and safety of Big West student-athletes, coaches, staff and the campus community continue to be the preeminent priorities for the CEO’s of the conference’s 11 institutions,” the Big West board of directors said in the statement. “As medical and scientific data rapidly evolves surrounding the pandemic, the conference will continue to monitor developments and will consider additional actions as needed.”
The board previously announced in a statement released in June that a decision on the status of fall sports was to be made by July 20. They moved the date back to Aug. 1 before eventually releasing their statement on Wednesday.
The postponement of fall sports seemed all but inevitable for the Big West as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has soared to 484,913 in California, where 10 of the conference’s 11 member schools are located.
The California Community College Athletic Association announced their plans on July 9 to postpone fall sports to the spring. The California Interscholastic Federation followed suit for high school sports on July 20.
While both the CCCAA and CIF have postponed fall sports until spring, the Big West said a separate decision on the feasibility of playing fall sports in the spring would be made at a later date.
The statement also announced the reintegration of student-athletes on campuses to be made at the discretion of each member school, but that “on-campus athletic related activity will follow strict compliance with NCAA regulations, institutional policies, and public health guidelines.”
While fall sports have been postponed, winter sports will not be impacted by the conference’s decision. Men’s and women’s basketball are currently scheduled to begin their seasons on Nov. 10.