MANSFIELD, Mass. — The Northeast-10 Conference Council of Presidents conducted a virtual meeting Monday afternoon and formally approved policies and protocols that support the resumption of NE10 competition this spring, according to a press release.
The decision will remain with each member institution, including Franklin Pierce University, to determine whether or not they can safely participate in competition.
The release said 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 in a statement. “With NE10 competition now just a month away, we urge continued vigilance as we look forward to returning our athletes to the playing field.”
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 in a statement. “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,” she added. “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.”
Regular season schedules, and postseason qualification and tournament formats, have not yet been finalized and will be released in the coming weeks, the press release said.
The Conference will also discuss attendance policies.