America East officers introduced plans Monday for convention play in males’s and ladies’s basketball, whereas additionally establishing a spring season for the autumn sports activities that had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
America East, of which the College of Maine is a member, will play an 18-game convention schedule that can include weekend sequence the place a workforce hosts the identical opponent on back-to-back days for 2 video games.
That schedule is about to start Dec. 19, with open weekends later within the season to accommodate any postponed video games. Faculties may have the choice to choose up nonconference video games within the first three weeks of the season.
“It’s the perfect information we may hope for, beneath the circumstances,” stated Maine males’s basketball coach Richard Barron. “We have now a plan. I imply, even when it’s aspirational, it’s one thing we will transfer towards. I feel everybody understands not solely is there work to be performed beneath the present circumstances simply to have the ability to make that occur, however there’s expectations that issues both need to get higher or, at worse, keep established order. So how issues progress over these subsequent few months is essential.”
The brand new spring season will enable the autumn sports activities groups to play a restricted schedule whereas establishing championship tournaments.
“It’s an encouraging first step,” stated Scott Atherley, in his twentieth season because the Black Bears girls’s soccer coach. “It permits us to higher conceptualize what our season would possibly appear to be, and finally plan. We’re all cautiously optimistic. There’s nonetheless various challenges that we have to overcome for us to be safely planning for the spring.”
America East officers know that every college faces particular challenges inside its state to be able to compete. Maine, as an illustration, should obtain some clearance from state officers earlier than it may play at, or host, out-of-state competitors with out quarantining. And state tips would severely restrict having spectators at video games.
Climate may be an element, particularly in Orono, with schedules to start in February or March.
“We acknowledge this shall be a novel season with many variables each inside and outdoors of our management, however we’ll proceed working with related stakeholder teams as we construct in the direction of a basketball season that prioritizes the well being and security of our groups and broader campus communities,” stated America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “Whereas we proceed transferring ahead with preparations, we’re reasonable that adaptation and adaptability are essential as situations evolve to be able to efficiently navigate this season.”
For the autumn sports activities that noticed their seasons postponed in July, America East has established a spring season schedule:
• Cross nation championships shall be held March 5, web site nonetheless to be decided.
• Area hockey will play an eight-game round-robin common season starting March 19 by means of April 17. 4 groups will qualify for the league championships, to be held April 22 and 24.
• Ladies’s soccer will play a six-game schedule from March 17 to April 11. 4 groups will qualify for the league championships, to be held April 16 and 18.
“It supplies hope,” stated Atherley. “I’ve spoken to colleagues throughout the league and everybody shall be grateful to have one thing.”
Maine subject hockey coach Josette Babineau added, “I undoubtedly assume it’s good that America East has launched begin dates and what their intention is for subject hockey… Clearly there’s a variety of uncertainty however simply to have the ability to have one thing introduced for the spring I feel may be very thrilling for our workforce.”
The convention additionally introduced the cancellation of the indoor observe championships, whereas permitting member colleges to choose up regular-season competitors. Additionally, the America East swimming and diving championships shall be moved to the spring season, with extra data to come back.
The New England Small Faculty Athletic Convention, of which Bowdoin, Bates and Colby are members, has already introduced the cancellation of its winter seasons.