Subject: Fall 2020 Athletic Competition Announcement
Dear BSU community,
Today, the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) announced the difficult decision to suspend the fall 2020 athletic season for both varsity and club sports and including all indoor and outdoor athletic conference competition.
We understand how disappointing is the news that we need to suspend the fall season and the impact this has on our BSU Bears family. This decision supports Bridgewater State University’s top priority of providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff. We recognize that intercollegiate athletic competition is an important part of the educational experience at BSU. To that end, we are exploring options to move some fall competition to the spring semester. We are in contact with the MASCAC and NCAA to ensure full compliance with bylaws and guidelines.
MASCAC has been meeting regularly with the presidents, athletic directors, athletic trainers and other essential staff to consider ways we can bring our student-athletes back to the playing field safely while adhering to all state, federal and NCAA guidelines with the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our staff as our priority.
In announcing its decision, MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann stated, “Unfortunately, the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus and the risk of community spread through conference competition proved too great a risk to our student athletes to engage in conference play.”
Although the fall competitive season will not look as initially planned, we are committed to developing plans to keep our teams connected throughout the semester. Specifics regarding practice sessions, team meetings, game film sessions, leadership development and more will be communicated to team members directly by their coaching staff.
Decisions regarding winter sports will be made during the fall. We are hopeful that external competition for our BSU Bears will resume in January 2021.
Athletics and Recreation FAQs
Will there be a full season of competition for fall sports?
Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, Bridgewater State will not be able to participate in traditional varsity or club sport competition during the fall.
When will I return to campus? What about preseason?
Student-athletes that have been assigned housing through Residence Life and Housing will return to campus with the general student body. There will be no fall athletics preseason.
Will fall sports have the opportunity to compete at a different time during the year?
BSU is committed to providing every opportunity for all of our student-athletes to compete but no decision has been made at this time regarding the viability of an alternative playing season for fall sports. That decision will be made during the fall semester.
What about winter and spring sports?
BSU and MASCAC will make decisions regarding winter and spring seasons in the fall.
Does practice include Sports Performance, the Thornburg Fitness Center or the Moriarty Pool?
The Sports Performance staff intends to hold modified strength and conditioning sessions for varsity student-athletes. The schedule will be different from past years to allow for increased sanitation and social distancing procedures as well as the use of outdoor spaces. Additional safety procedures will be communicated to student-athletes by the Sports Performance staff.
How does this decision affect my NCAA eligibility?
According to NCAA rules, student-athletes would not use a season of participation if they did not compete during the fall season or in less than 50 percent of the maximum number of competitions as allowed by the NCAA. Specific compliance questions should be directed to Sue Crosby Tangen, Associate Director of Athletics, at STANGEN@bridgew.edu.
What will it look like to participate/practice this fall?
All teams will follow state and university guidelines for practices including increased physical distancing, mask-wearing, and small group workouts. Public Health, Commonwealth and University guidelines will dictate our progression through the phases, which includes increased group sizes, with physical distancing, and increased access to equipment and indoor facilities.
Do I still need to get a physical prior to fall practice?
All student-athletes practicing in the fall semester will need to complete all medical clearance process prior to practice as outlined at bsubears.com.
If I am enrolled and live off-campus can I still participate in practice and team activities?
All team members will have the opportunity to fully participate in practice opportunities, both virtually and on-campus, in accordance with Public Health, Commonwealth and University guidelines.
Will there be Intramurals?
We are planning for a modified intramural offering that is consistent with Public Health, Commonwealth and University guidelines. Specific intramural offerings will be announced later in the summer.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
Athletic Eligibility and Compliance: Sue Crosby Tangen firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports Medicine and Medical Clearances: Jeanne O’Brien email@example.com
Club Sports: Erica Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
Recreation: Dan Rezendes email@example.com
Athletic Facilities: Glenn Gonsalves firstname.lastname@example.org
All others: Marybeth Lamb email@example.com
Dr. Marybeth Lamb
Director, Athletics & Recreation