Mount Holyoke, Smith opt out of spring NEWMAC seasons

Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2021 4:49:33 PM

Smith College and Mount Holyoke have opted out of the spring NEWMAC season, the institutions announced Monday.

NEWMAC presidents outlined their plan for spring sports in a release Monday. Athletes, coaches and staff will be tested regularly. Universal masking is required, and there will be other modifications to game management as part of health and safety protocols.

The council of presidents has proposed a conference-only schedule.

Schools can choose whether or not to participate from the beginning or opt out as the season progresses.

The NEWMAC spring season includes baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field.

Smith sponsors lacrosse, rowing, softball, tennis and track & field. Those sports have begun practice “consistent with the Culture of Care protocols,” the release said.

Mount Holyoke typically offers lacrosse, rowing, track and field, tennis and riding.

“The College will focus on exploring opportunities for local competition for its student-athletes,” the release said. “This decision aligns with our continued commitment to the health and safety of the Mount Holyoke College student-athletes. A decision regarding local competition will be made later in March.”

At Amherst College, the spring season remains up in the air. The NESCAC announced Jan. 27 that “conditions will need to improve significantly in order to conduct conference competition this spring.”

The release said due to member institutions returning to campus at different times, conference play would likely not start until late March or early April.

None of the area schools that sponsor Division III sports have competed this academic year. UMass, a Division I school, played a four-game football season in the fall and is nearing the conclusion of winter basketball and hockey seasons.

Most of the Atlantic 10 Conference’s fall sports were pushed to the spring, and they have begun games along with traditional spring sports.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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