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MASCAC Suspends 2020 Fall Conference Season

The MASCAC and Fitchburg State University have announced that all competition for our fall sports has been suspended for the fall 2020 season. The programs impacted by this decision include men's and women's soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country and football. This news is tremendously disappointing, but was made in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members.
Thu Jul 16, 2020

MASCAC Fall Sports Release

The MASCAC and Fitchburg State University have announced that all competition for our fall sports has been suspended for the fall 2020 season. The programs impacted by this decision include men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, field hockey, men's and women's cross country and football.  This news is tremendously disappointing, but was made in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members.

 

This decision does not include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's indoor track or ice hockey as the status of those seasons will continue to be evaluated as we progress through the next several months.

Fitchburg State intends to provide practice opportunities for all of the impacted programs during the fall semester and we will continue to evaluate the possibility of spring competition for the fall teams that have been impacted.

Student-athletes can forward all questions to their head coach or contact Athletic Director Matt Burke at 978-665-3313 or mburke43@fitchburgstate.edu

 

Please see the questions and answers below;

Questions & Answers (these will be updated as new information is released)

What will it be like to participate in a team this fall?

We will utilize the guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the NCAA in regards to planning sport activity. We expect that teams will be able to practice and gather this fall under the supervision of their coaches and our strength and conditioning staff starting with small group workouts. We currently believe the practice season will be similar to the non-traditional segment our teams typically participate in.  What is, and is not, allowed may change over the course of the fall based on University, State and Health guidance. 

Will fall athletes return early to begin practice?

No, athletes will arrive on campus with other students. There will be no preseason.  The current scheduled move-in date for first year residents is Monday, August 31st.  The current scheduled move-in date for returning student residents is Wednesday, September 2nd. Look for communication from Housing and Residential Services about the move-in process.

Will fall sports have the opportunity to compete at a different time during the year? 

Fitchburg State and the MASCAC are investigating opportunities with the NCAA to shift competitive seasons for fall sports to the spring semester but decisions have not been made. 

Will student-athletes need to complete medical clearance paperwork? 

Yes. The athletic department will be forwarding all student-athletes instructions for required paperwork and posting updates on our website.  We plan to complete as many of our requirements as possible online, and prior to arrival on campus. 

What COVID-19 testing and health protocols will you have in place?
No final decisions have been made at this time regarding testing but the athletic department will follow guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the NCAA and Fitchburg State University and we will enforce strict covid-19 prevention measures.  

What about winter and spring sports? 

No decision has been made regarding winter or spring seasons at this time.  Discussions are ongoing. 

How does this decision affect my NCAA eligibility? 

According to NCAA rules, student-athletes would not use a season of participation if they did not compete during the season. 

On July 9, the NCAA issued a blanket waiver providing guidance regarding eligibility concerns for teams who play a limited number of contests, or whose seasons end prematurely.  The blanket waiver states that student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The NCAA also approved a second blanket waiver which permits student-athletes to receive a two-semester/three-quarter extension of eligibility if the student-athlete is unable to participate in their sport during the 2020-21 academic year due to the impact of COVID-19 or if the student-athlete's team completed 50% or less of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to COVID-19. 

Will student-athletes have access to Athletic Training services?

Yes, but services may be limited. All visits will require an appointment, and the overall volume will be kept to a minimum. Social distancing, masking, and hand-washing requirements will be strictly enforced.