Spring Athletics Season is a Go; MASCAC Announces Return-to-Play Plan

March 12, 2021
By: Curtis Fraser

 

A year and day after Worcester State University last took part in intercollegiate athletic competition, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its return-to-play plan for spring sports on Friday, March 12.

The eight MASCAC presidents announced an approved plan to have competition for the spring sports of baseball, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. The presidents also approved the continuation of practice for fall and winter MASCAC teams subject to health and safety, testing, and tracing protocols in place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“The MASCAC continues to meet regularly with the presidents, athletic directors, athletic trainers, and other essential staff as we bring our student-athletes back to the playing field safely, while adhering to all state, federal, and NCAA guidelines,” said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. “It is our intention to have these athletic events as long as the conditions allow us to move forward safely. The MASCAC office and eight MASCAC presidents will be monitoring practices and competition to ensure the continued health and safety of our student-athletes and staff.”

Member institutions will determine individually if they can safely participate in intercollegiate athletics this spring and in which sports they will permit competition. These decisions will be made in consultation with campus health professionals and the MASCAC commissioner.

The presidents approved a conference schedule where the institutions will play the same school each week in baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse. In addition, the membership has approved a men’s golf and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field championships. Additionally, the presidents authorized institutions to schedule non-conference contests, provided all non-conference opponents follow prescribed MASCAC health and safety guidance and protocols. Institutions will not be permitted to travel to compete against teams out of state.

As the MASCAC teams continue to participate in athletic activities, it is the continued responsibility of all student-athletes and staff to stay diligent in their safety efforts on and off the field of play. Individual member institutions reserve the right to halt competition if the health of the campus community is put at risk. In the event of an increase of COVID-related cases on any of the conference campuses, the schedules may be adjusted, which might include a stoppage of play.

“On behalf of all of our athletics administrators, staff, and coaches, I can safely say we are all ecstatic that we will be returning to the field, track, and course this spring,” said Worcester State Director of Athletics Michael Mudd. “Our spring student-athletes already lost out on one season a year ago, and I’m glad we have been able to lay the groundwork for them to safely return to the sports they love.”

Consistent with state restrictions on gathering limits, spectators will not be permitted at MASCAC contests at this time. This policy may be revisited for outdoor sports if conditions improve, and is subject to state and local health authorities’ guidance. For the enjoyment of family, friends and fans of our student-athletes, the MASCAC will continue to livestream contests on MASCAC.tv. All Worcester State home games will also be streamed at wsulancers.com/broadcast.

Individual team schedules are available at wsulancers.com. All schedules are subject to change without notice.

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