By Lauren Gudknecht
On Monday, Dec. 28, ECC officials announced the return of winter sports, in accordance with ECC, NCAA, school, local and state COVID-19 regulations. Men’s and women’s basketball and women’s bowling has been approved, while men’s and women’s indoor track and field has been canceled.
According to eccsports.org, no spectators will be allowed at any ECC winter sports competition.
ECC Commissioner Dr. Robert Dranoff stated that there may be changes in the coming weeks as they continue to monitor all COVID-19 protocols.
“Working with our members to assure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff is the most important part of the effort,” Dranoff said.
Men’s and women’s basketball competition will include six of the conference’s 10 members, who are as follows: Daemen, D’Youville, Mercy, Molloy, Roberts Wesleyan and St. Thomas Aqyinas. Four schools, Bridgeport, District of Columbia, Queens and Staten Island, have opted out of competition. For most of the competing members, early February will consist of up to 10 games and culminate with the ECC Championship in early March.
Similar to the basketball schedule, women’s bowling will hold their ECC Championship on Feb. 27 and 28 at Bowlero in Mineola, N.Y. This year, the championship will see a change in format where all competing teams will split into two groups to compete in Baker format for scoring.
According to eccsports.org, the top four teams based on total pin count will then advance to play for the ECC title on Feb. 28. The semifinals and final of the championship will be conducted in mega match format.
Unfortunately the ECC’s athletic directors have made a final decision vetoing the 2021 Indoor Track and Field Championships. New York’s restrictions on large indoor gatherings along with the team roster size present logistical issues that played a more prominent role in the decision.