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College Sports

College Sports: Middle Atlantic Conference approves postseason expansion, updates winter scheduling policy

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The Middle Atlantic Conference announced a conference tournament expansion and changes to its winter sports scheduling policy Friday, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases.

The announcements were made in a Friday morning press release.

“The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) continues to monitor the COVID-19 landscape and the impact on member institutions and athletics programs,” the opening statement read. “As a result of the surge in cases, the MAC has approved changes in basketball and across all sports.”

The MAC approved a one-time expansion to its 2022 men’s and women’s basketball championship fields. The approval includes all nine eligible schools from both the Commonwealth Division, which includes Messiah, and the Freedom Division.

In addition to the postseason changes, the MAC made alterations to its winter scheduling policy. Administrators voted to allow winter contests that could not be played due to COVID-19, to be rescheduled effective immediately. However, any event scheduled on or beyond Jan. 13 that cannot be played on the original date due to COVID issues may be rescheduled under specific parameters.

If a game is unable to be made up, it will be a forfeit loss for the team originally causing the postponement. The newly implemented policy only pertains to winter sports and spring sports will retain the original forfeit policy established in the fall. Original conference tournament qualifications will also return, although the MAC plans to continue to monitor the pandemic.

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