CAA football teams to lose games if faced with COVID-19 cancellations

UMaine coach Nick Charlton shouts instructions during the team’s first pre-practice training on August 4. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Sentry

The Colonial Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that any football team that cannot play due to a COVID-19 outbreak will lose this game.

The University of Maine plays football only in the CAA, opening its season Sept. 2 with a 7 p.m. home league game against Delaware.

According to the new policy, “Any match that cannot be played due to COVID-related circumstances would be considered a forfeit by the team that canceled. The canceling team will suffer a loss in the conference standings and the opposing team will win. The overall record of the two teams would not change, as the NCAA statutes consider such games a “no competition.”

In other words, the forfeit wouldn’t count against a team’s overall record, which is important if the team is being considered for a playoff spot in the Football Championship division.

“These are unique moments,” said Rob Washburn, CAA Associate Commissioner. “We hope we never have to use this policy.”

The CAA did not host a fall football season last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, he played a compact spring season in which 11 of his 12 teams competed. Towson didn’t.

Fourteen games were called off this spring due to COVID-19 outbreaks, including Maine’s last two of the season. The Black Bears finished 2-2, with games against Rhode Island and New Hampshire called off due to COVID-related issues at those schools.

After playing 16 games in the first four weeks of spring, the CAA has only played three in the past three weeks, and one was a non-conference meeting between Delaware and the State of Delaware.

According to the league’s new policy, if a match is called off because both teams have COVID-related issues, the match will be declared “without competition” and will not rely on either team’s conference record. teams.

Teams will have a 24 hour window to play the game.

“The reason this is stated is that if a team needs more time to contact or retest it saves them 24 hours to determine if they have enough players to play,” Washburn said. “I hope the vaccination rates will be high enough that we don’t have to worry about it. With games played every week, there’s really no room to reschedule.

UMaine coach Nick Charlton said the Black Bears will try to continue to stay healthy and safe. Maine did not have any positive test results among its players or staff during the CAA spring season.

“I think we just have to follow the protocols and do it the right way,” Charlton said. “At the end of the day, it all depends on the health and safety of the players, so we’re just going to react outside of these rules.”

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