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Big Ten announces COVID-19 forfeiture policy

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Forfeitures are a thing now.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The ACC, Big 12, and PAC 12 have all announced COVID-19 forfeiture policies in recent weeks and days, and now the Big Ten has announced parameters of their own.

“In collaboration and communication with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee – effective today (August 23) – the conference has determined that if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled,” the Big Ten said in a press release.

The policy notes it went into effect on August 20 and will be until rescinded by the Administrators Council. The policy will impact all teams and sports through the 2021-22 cycle. At present, the forfeiture policy doesn’t indicate precisely what COVID-19 threshold would warrant a forfeiture, The bottom line of this release and policy that it’s going to be a lot harder to get a game rescheduled this year and forfeitures are a reality.

Here’s the full Big Ten forfeiture policy.

Competition Involving Two Teams. If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition shall be considered a forfeit by the team unable to participate and shall not be rescheduled. In such case, the team unable to participate shall be assessed a “loss,” its opponent a “win,” and Conference standings shall be adjusted accordingly.

Competition Involving Two Teams. If both of the two competing teams are unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, and is unable to be rescheduled, the competition shall be considered a “no contest.”

Competition Involving Three or More Teams. If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and team performance in the competition impacts Conference standings, a team unable to participate due to COVID-19 will be considered to have forfeited the competition. In such case, a team unable to participate shall be assessed a “loss,” each of its opponents a “win,” and Conference standings shall be adjusted accordingly. If team performance in the competition does not impact Conference standings and/or the involved sport is one in which there are no Conference standings, no further action shall be taken.