On Tuesday, the Big Ten Conference announced a change to its forfeiture policy that is in line with alterations recently implemented by other major leagues.
Now, forfeits will be a last resort for teams unable to compete due to COVID-19. Contests that can’t be played as scheduled will be postponed and either rescheduled, declared a no-contest or, in a worst-case scenario, become forfeits.
“The Conference office will be responsible for rescheduling any conference competition postponed due to COVID-19,” the Big Ten said.
Teams will need at least seven scholarship athletes in women’s and men’s basketball, along with one coach, to play a game. The Big Ten’s announcement comes after teams nationwide have been forced to cancel or postpone games due to COVID.
It was expected that the league would move in this direction, many media members noted in the aftermath of the decision.
Biggest thing is no automatic forfeit In the Big Ten.
Games that can’t be played on the scheduled day will be reviewed and will either be rescheduled, declared a no contest or a forfeiture. https://t.co/NIXbpIlob7
— Leah Doherty (@LeahGraceD) December 28, 2021
Just in time for conference play to begin and after 6 major conferences made adjustments, the B1G has come out with their own changes that look a lot like everyone else's. Trying to get the games in is a priority. #iubb #iuwbb https://t.co/GViqZbWOGv
— Jim Coyle ISB Radio 🎙️ (@jimcoyleISB) December 28, 2021
No more COVID auto-forfeits in Big Ten games. Postponements, no-contests, and forfeits as a last resort. A team has to have at least 7 players and at least 1 coach to play a game. https://t.co/QE9jHJdMpA
— Chris Basnett (@HuskerExtraCB) December 28, 2021
Games will not be automatically forfeited; they can also be rescheduled or declared a no contest.
Approval from the Conference office and B1G Chief Medical Officer will be necessary for the decisions, and the number of competitors and coaches available will also be factored in. https://t.co/A7Ky5AL4rB
— Amanda Foster (@amandafoster_15) December 28, 2021
Finally some clarity from the Big Ten https://t.co/mBGq6xNX6H
— Bret Beherns (@WCIA3Bret) December 28, 2021
The Big Ten has updated its scheduling/forfeiture policy — they, like the other six major conferences in men’s basketball, are making forfeits a last resort. Rescheduling then no-contests if a game can’t be played as scheduled and requiring a minimum of seven players & one coach. https://t.co/4EzEynJUCR
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) December 28, 2021
Obviously, like every other conference, the Big Ten is hoping it won’t have to worry about rescheduling too many games in the coming weeks.
However, they need to have these protocols in place, because COVID-19 remains a factor.