Mountain East Conference announces plans to hold fall, winter and spring sports starting in January 2021

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Mountain East Conference Board of Directors unanimously approved plans to conduct athletics competition in winter sports beginning no sooner than Jan. 7, 2021. The board also approved schedules for conference fall sports competing in the spring semester.

The plans are contingent upon the ability to conduct sport while adhering to state and local guidelines and COVID-19 surveillance testing at each member institution utilizing the NCAA’s guidelines. 

“On behalf of our board, our athletics administrators, athletic staffs, and our student-athletes, we are pleased to be taking the next steps toward returning to competition in 2021,” said Commissioner Reid Amos. “However, we fully acknowledge that there are still many challenges ahead of us as we make every effort to safely navigate returning to and sustaining intercollegiate competition. I am grateful for the resolve of everyone in our league to continue to plot a viable path forward.”

The MEC will begin the winter sports season with no spectators. The league’s Board of Directors will evaluate the policy no earlier than January 19, 2021. 

Winter Sports Schedule/Championship Updates:

The upcoming men’s and women’s basketball seasons are scheduled to begin on Jan. 7, and conclude Feb. 27. The league plans for a 16-game schedule with the top 10 men’s and women’s teams advancing to the MEC Tournament at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, W.Va., from March 3-7.

The wrestling schedule is slated to consist primarily of conference dual and tri-matches beginning in January with a championship tournament on Feb. 6 at the ASRC on the campus of West Liberty University. 

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving conference championships, held in conjunction with the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC), have been shifted to March 30-April 2, and will be held at the C.T. Branin Natatorium.

The NCAA recently announced a reduction of bracket and field sizes for winter (and spring) sports, but will maintain its regularly scheduled dates for a majority of its championships. (Check NCAA Championships schedules here.)  

Fall Sports Schedule/Championship Updates:

Football: Teams will be scheduled to play a five-game divisional lineup beginning March 13. The winner from each division would play for the conference championship in mid-April.

Volleyball: MEC volleyball teams will be slated to compete in two, six-team divisions with an in-division round-robin schedule that includes 10 games beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The top four teams in each division advance to tournament play. The quarterfinal round will be played at campus sites, and the advancing teams will play at a single site to be determined. 

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country: The cross country regular season is scheduled to start Feb. 13 and conclude with the conference championship on March 20.

Men’s Soccer: The men’s soccer season is scheduled to be an eight-game, single-round robin beginning no earlier than Feb. 19. The top four teams will advance to the MEC Tournament slated for April 21-25 at campus sites.

Women’s Soccer: The women’s soccer season will consist of an eight-game schedule beginning no earlier than Feb. 26. The 12 teams will be divided into three, four-team divisions and play a double-round robin lineup within the division, and then have two additional non-division opponents. The top two teams in each division will advance to the MEC Tournament that will begin the week of April 19.

Men’s and Women’s Golf: The MEC Golf Championship, which has been traditionally held in the fall, shifts to April 20-22 at Avalon Lakes in Warren, Ohio.

Spring Sports Schedule/Championship Updates:

At this time, the Mountain East Conference is planning to conduct its spring seasons as scheduled in accordance with the NCAA mandated one-year reduction of allowable contests. A complete list of MEC championships can be found here.

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