July 18, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Big West Conference officials announce return to play protocols on four spring sports

Big West Conference officials announced Frday return to play and scheduling protocols in the sports of baseball, softball, men’s volleyball and women’s water polo. 

“The Big West is excited to take the next step toward spring competition,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said in a statement from the conference.

“Our focus remains on the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and we will continue to evaluate the pandemic’s effect on our ability to provide a safe environment for competition. These schedule formats reflect the changes our Big West administrators, coaches and staff felt were necessary in the face of unprecedented challenges. I applaud their efforts to find solutions that move the Big West forward.”

In baseball, the regular season will consist of four-game weekend series against each conference opponent. Teams may schedule non-conference games prior to the Big West schedule but may play only one opponent per week once league play begins. Midweek contests are not allowed during conference play. Conference play will begin on Friday, March 19 and run through Saturday, May 29, 2021.

Big West softball teams will have a three-game series during conference play, according to the release from the Big West. Schools are permitted to add a fourth game to the series which would be designated as a non-conference game.

As in baseball, teams are only permitted to play one team per week during the conference season and are prohibited from participating in any midweek contests during that time. Conference play will begin on Friday, March 19 and run through Saturday, May 15, 2021.

The 10-match Big West men’s volleyball schedule will feature a two-game series under the one opponent per week provision during conference play. Schools are permitted to schedule a third match in the series to count as a non-conference contest.

Teams may play matches earlier in the conference schedule if both schools agree.  However, if teams move up their contests and wish to play again later in the season, the second series will not count toward conference standings. Conference play begins on Thursday, March 11 and runs through Saturday, April 17, 2021.

The season culminates in the Big West Men’s Volleyball Championship which will take place at SimpliFi Arena at Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii on April 22-24, 2021.

Women’s water polo teams will play each Big West opponent once during the conference season. Teams will have the option of adding a second, non-conference match against their conference opponent. Conference matches may be played earlier in the schedule if mutually agreed.

If teams move up their contests and then wish to play again later in the season, it will not count toward conference standings. In addition, any matches scheduled between Big West opponents outside of the conference schedule footprint would also be deemed non-conference. Conference play begins on Friday, March 12 and ends Sunday, April 25, 2021. The Big West Women’s Water Polo Championship will be held April 30 to May 2, 2021.

The Big West annually conducts championships in the sports of men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field and women’s beach volleyball.  Championships are planned for this spring. 

All institutions will continue adherence to medical and COVID-19 testing protocols established by the Big West Conference based on CDC, NCAA, federal, state and local guidelines, officials said.

Source: Big West Conference