The Big Sky Conference postponed all fall sports until the spring of 2021 Thursday.
The conference announced the change to play in spring out of health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Conference presidents met Aug. 12 to affirm the recommendation from conference athletic directors, the conference announced Thursday.
The change impacts all fall sports, including men's and women's cross country, soccer, volleyball, men's and women's golf, softball and men's and women's tennis.
Football programs will not be permitted to play non-conference games in the fall. The conference had previously announced Big Sky football would be postponed until the spring, but the possibility of non-conference play was still a possibility.
“While I am confident that our conference is making the right decision for the health and safety of our student-athletes, it breaks my heart knowing how disappointing this will be to all of them who were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to compete this fall,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in a statement. "Our efforts in the conference office now will focus on doing everything within our power to make their spring season the best that it possibly can be, which includes advocating for their NCAA championships to be held then. As campuses begin re-opening this fall, we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy while we continue to learn more about how best to manage this fluid situation and its impact on higher education.”
No decisions on winter sports, which include basketball and indoor track and field, have been made yet. The Conference said athletic activities can continue at the university's discretion as long as they abide by NCAA legislation, campus policies and local and state regulations.