FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NE10 Presidents Support Return of Competition for Spring Sports.
MANSFIELD, Mass. - The Northeast-10 Conference Council of Presidents conducted a virtual meeting this afternoon and formally approved policies and protocols that support the resumption of NE10 competition this spring. Additionally, the Council did acknowledge that despite its endorsement of health & safety protocols and scheduling formats, it will remain the decision of each member institution to determine if they can safely participate in intercollegiate athletics this spring and in which sports they will permit competition. The NE10 intends to sponsor regular season and postseason play in baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis along with Conference championship-only events in golf and outdoor track.
"The outcome of today's Council of Presidents meeting is a positive and critical step toward the NE10's return to competition this spring", said NE10 Council of Presidents Chair Kim Mooney of Franklin Pierce University. "On behalf of the NE10 Presidents, I want to extend my gratitude to the administrators and health professionals within the Conference for the countless hours they have devoted to developing policies and protocols on each campus that seek to keep our campus communities and our students healthy and safe. To our student-athletes, we thank you for your patience and your adherence to campus policies. With NE10 competition now just a month away, we urge continued vigilance as we look forward to returning our athletes to the playing field."
Consistent with all decisions at the conference level, the safety and well-being of student-athletes remains the primary focus of the NE10. As such, the Council of Presidents approved a recommendation from the NE10's Directors of Athletics and Sports Medicine professionals that will require ongoing, weekly surveillance testing in each of the 10 spring sports that well exceeds current NCAA guidance in these low and medium-transmission risk sports. Additionally, the Conference will require pre-competition COVID testing for game officials in each sport and game officials will be required to wear face coverings during all competitions.
"The past 11 months have been extraordinarily hard as we've witnessed the impact of the global pandemic" said NE10 Commissioner Julie Ruppert. "Certainly none of us could have ever imagined that when competition ceased on March 13, 2020 that we would go a full year without NE10 play on our fields and courts. While the decisions to cancel our last three seasons were undoubtedly the correct decisions to keep our campus communities safe, today is finally a day for optimism for what lies ahead. I'm grateful for the many individuals in the Conference who have worked cooperatively to chart a safe and responsible pathway forward for the spring sports to begin competition. I'm also appreciative for the resiliency that our student-athletes and coaches have exhibited over the past year. Today is a good day!"
The team sports schedules for baseball, softball, tennis and lacrosse have undergone significant revisions that maximize contests while minimizing time off campus to travel and address current interstate travel restrictions. The NE10 leadership understands that flexibility to address unanticipated changes will be crucial and athletics schedules will continue to be subject to the realities of the pandemic. NE10 spring sports are slated to begin competition mid-March. Full schedules spring sports will be shared as soon as they are finalized by the NE10.
The NE10 continues to examine its postseason qualification polices and tournament formats. Additional information on the postseason will be made available in the coming weeks. The Conference will also discuss and determine Conference attendance policies and will announce Conference policies at a later date.
Fans are encouraged to visit www.northeast10.org and the members' individual athletic websites for the latest schedules and championship information, which will be posted in the coming weeks.
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 14 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.