Amid a surge in game cancellations due to COVID-19, the Big Sky Conference has adjusted its policy implemented during the fall sports season that treated canceled games as forfeits. Now, the league will work with member schools to reschedule missed games, assuming certain criteria are met.
As reported by NBC affiliate KULR in Billings, Mont., teams seeking to reschedule canceled games cannot play on back-to-back days, and must have at least seven available players and one full-time coach. If a game cannot be rescheduled it would then be ruled a no-contest.
"The Conference Office will set the date for any make-up games based on the rescheduling process," the league wrote in Wednesday's press release detailing commissioner Tom Wistrcill's announcement. "Any rescheduled games must be completed before the previously approved last date of league competition. Any games that are not able to be rescheduled may be deemed a no-contest by the Conference Office. An announcement with rescheduled games will be released in the coming days."
Twelve games between Big Sky teams, including Sunday's previously scheduled women's basketball game between Montona and Montona State in Bozeman, have been postponed since early last week, KULR reported. The Sacramento State men's team was forced to postpone a non-conference game against Oregon State for the third time due to COVID-19 protocol within the Beavers' program.
Some teams, such as the Eastern Washington women, have not played since before Christmas, according to KULR.
"Make-up games will be rescheduled in chronological order of the previously approved schedule where the aforementioned criteria are met, although they do not need to be played in the same order," according to the statement, which concludes, "The Big Sky's Health and Safety Committee still meets weekly to monitor the situation with COVID and will continue to advise the conference as needed."