MIAC approves return to competitive sports this winter

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A return to competitive sports this winter was approved by the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Presidents’ Council Wednesday.

Those winter sports—including basketball, hockey, indoor track and field, and swimming and diving—will be permitted for regular season competition.

Click the video box on this page to see KSTP Sports’ chat with St Thomas men’s basketball coach John Tauer about the news the MIAC will have a modified 2020-21 winter sports season

According to the council, the MIAC will not host winter sport playoffs, nor will it host postseason championship meets. However, participation in NCAA championship competition has been approved for qualifying teams and athletes.

Additionally, spectators will not be allowed at MIAC sporting events during the winter season.

According to the conference, MIAC basketball and hockey programs will begin a seven-game conference schedule on Feb. 6.

Basketball and hockey schedules will follow a single round-robin format, wherein each participating team will play every other team once. Then, the team that achieves the best winning percentage while completing at least 51 percent of the schedule will claim the MIAC championship and automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

Teams will also have the opportunity to schedule up to four non-conference events beginning on Jan. 29. The MIAC will not host basketball or hockey playoffs in 2021.

Regular-season basketball games are planned for 7 p.m. Wednesdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Midweek and weekend hockey games are planned for 7 p.m., depending on facility availability, according to the conference.

The full 2021 schedules for basketball and hockey can be found here.

Meanwhile, teams that do not compete this season are allowed to continue practices as well as strength training and conditioning that is in accordance with NCAA and MIAC policies and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Since there is no assigned conference schedule for MIAC indoor track and field and swimming and diving programs, those teams will be able to participate in regular season events at the discretion of each institution. The typical posteason conference championship meets for these sports will not be held this winter.

The complete MIAC COVID-19 Competition—which includes specific details regarding resocialization, conference protocols, and competition expectations—can be found here.

Updates on fall and spring sport competition, meanwhile, will be provided as they are finalized.