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Big South alters aspects of ’20-’21 season

The Big South Conference provided some insight into how COVID-19 will impact the 2020-21 sports season for Longwood University and the conference’s other member institutions.

Kyle Kallander

“As with all intercollegiate athletics conferences and institutions across the country, the Big South Conference and its member institutions have been exploring efficiencies to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” officials stated in a May 11 press release. “While minimizing the impact on the quality of the Big South student-athlete experience was a primary guideline in the evaluation of appropriate efficiencies, all areas of conference operations, regular season competition and championships formats received scrutiny.”

Officials noted the thorough and painstaking process resulted in the approval by the Big South Conference Executive Committee of several actions for the 2020-21 season, the highlights of which include the following:

• Delaying for one year the neutral site format for the Hercules Tires Big South Conference Basketball Championships. The conference will return to on-campus sites for both men’s and women’s basketball in March 2021, then move to Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2022.

• Seven sports will limit their field of championship tournament squads to just the top four teams in 2020-21. These seven sports are women’s soccer, men’s soccer, volleyball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, softball and baseball.

• The soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and softball championships will be held on-campus. Baseball will remain at SEGRA Stadium in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the tennis championships will be at a previously-approved central location.

• Women’s and men’s golf championships will each be shortened by one day in 2021.

• Outdoor track and field will remain a three-day event but will be moved from early-May to mid-April when classes are still in session.

• The cross country championships will be moved to a central location and will be moved to a Friday afternoon.

• Established minimum standards for basketball scheduling, staffing and operations budgets will be suspended for one year.

• Basketball media days, as well as most planned conference meetings, will be held virtually.

The release concluded by stating that the 2020- 21 Big South championship schedule and hosts are still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.