Midwest Conference cancels winter sports seasons

The conference includes St. Norbert College, Lawrence University and Ripon College.
Posted at 7:16 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 20:16:43-05

The Midwest Conference - which includes St. Norbert College, Lawrence University and Ripon College - has canceled its winter sports seasons, citing concerns with COVID-19.

Several sports will be impacted, most notably men's and women's basketball. This does not affect St. Norbert men's and women's hockey, which compete in a separate conference - the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.

St. Norbert Athletic Director Tim Bald said the conference looked at a number of options - including potentially testing athletes for COVID-19 - but ultimately geography posed the biggest issue.

"Our footprint in our league is pretty vast so we're talking about going through three states and sometimes the travel is as problematic with COVID as much as trying to participate in contests," he said Thursday. "So with an indoor environment and the travel being what it is, the presidents (of the conference's universities and colleges) decided that it was not going to be safe enough."

The conference has schools in three states - Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Bald said he is hopeful spring sports teams will be able to compete this fall. He said it helps that those sports compete outdoors.