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Big Ten Announces Forfeiture Policy for Games Canceled due to COVID-19

The Big Ten determined that if a member institution is unable to play a conference opponent due to COVID-19, it would be considered a forfeit and games will not be rescheduled.

The Big Ten Conference announced a forfeiture policy Monday for athletic events that cannot be played due to COVID-19. The decision pertains to all 2021-22 sports, not just football. 

In collaboration with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee, it was determined that if a member institution is unable to play a conference matchup due to COVID-19, it will be considered a forfeit and will not be rescheduled. 

Here's the full statement from the Big Ten Conference: 

ROSEMONT, Ill. – In collaboration and communication with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee – effective today – the conference has determined that if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled. That contest shall be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19 and a win for its opponent in the conference standings. If both of the two competing teams 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 shall be considered a “no contest.”

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2020-21 Big Ten Forfeiture Policy 

Interim Guidance for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)
(Adopted and effective from 8/20/21 until rescinded by the Administrators Council.)

  1. Competition Involving Two Teams. If a team is 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 shall be considered a forfeit by the team unable to participate and shall not be rescheduled. In such case, the team unable to participate shall be assessed a “loss,” its opponent a “win,” and Conference standings shall be adjusted accordingly.
  2. Competition Involving Two Teams. If both of the two competing teams 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, and is unable to be rescheduled, the competition shall be considered a “no contest.”
  3. Competition Involving Three or More Teams. If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and team performance in the competition impacts Conference standings, a team unable to participate due to COVID-19 will be considered to have forfeited the competition. In such case, a team unable to participate shall be assessed a “loss,” each of its opponents a “win,” and Conference standings shall be adjusted accordingly. If team performance in the competition does not impact Conference standings and/or the involved sport is one in which there are no Conference standings, no further action shall be taken.

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