Big Ten Changes Forfeit Policy, Cancellations Will Not Lead to Automatic Forfeiture

By Kevin Harrish on December 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Big Ten

Cancellations in the Big Ten will no longer lead to an automatic forfeiture.

As a result of a rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Big Ten Conference has officially updated its forfeiture policy allowing for games to be canceled without detrimentally hindering the affected teams' records.

Under the old policy, any team unable to participate due to positive COVID-19 tests would be forced to forfeit. Under the new policy, the game may be rescheduled, or declared a no contest or a forfeiture.

“The conference office and all 14 Big Ten member institutions have been in continuous contact about developments related to COVID-19,” Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a release. “The well-being of our student-athletes and our entire athletic communities is our top priority and we are updating our forfeiture policy to support their health and safety as well as the integrity of conference competition.”

The Big Ten will consider the number of players and coaches available when determining whether a game will be canceled, but a team that is not below the number of required competitors and at least one coach may still determine that it is unsafe to compete if it demonstrates why it is unsafe to compete to the league office.

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