The Big Ten officially changed its forfeit policy across all sports for the remaining 2021-22 season.
In a statement on the official website, the conference won’t be considering a matchup a forfeit if a team cannot play due to COVID-19.
“If a team or teams is/are unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19, and as a result, the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition will not automatically be considered a forfeiture,” a statement read.
The statement continued, “Upon review and approval by the Conference office, in consultation with the participating institutions and the Big Ten Chief Medical Officer, Dr. James Borchers, the competition may be rescheduled, or declared a no-contest or a forfeiture. The Conference office will be responsible for rescheduling any conference competition postponed due to COVID-19.”
The announcement also confirmed that the number of players available and the availability of at least one coach would factor into the Big Ten’s decision to claim a forfeit. For men’s and women’s basketball, the conference deemed seven players adequate for competition to occur.
A team that doesn’t compete and cannot prove why it cannot compete will be assessed a forfeit. As for postponed matchups that don’t result in a forfeit but can’t be rescheduled, those will be considered “no contests.”