GNAC Institutes Infectious Disease Forfeit Policy For 2022-23

Friday, August 26, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – In an effort to reduce missed class time and eliminate scheduling inequities caused by pandemic-related postponements, the GNAC will institute a forfeit policy in soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball for the 2022-23 academic year.

The recommendation of the council of athletic directors was approved by the CEO Board.

“We found last year that identifying makeup dates for postponed contests oftentimes resulted in untenable situations related to academic success, student-athlete welfare and scheduling parity,” said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. “The membership believes this change will better protect the mental and physical well-being of our student-athletes while at the same time ensuring that the integrity of the conference schedules remains intact.”

Beginning this fall, if a team cannot play a scheduled conference game for reasons related to an infectious disease outbreak (e.g., COVID-19, etc.) or roster limitation issues, it will be assigned a forfeit loss in the conference standings and its opponent assigned a forfeit win. If both teams in a matchup cannot play for reasons related to an infectious disease outbreak or roster limitation issues, each will be assigned a forfeit loss. In either case, games will be canceled and not rescheduled.

Forfeits will apply only to conference standings and will be factored into seeding for conference postseason tournaments. Under long-standing policy, the games will be considered “no contests” by the NCAA. Forfeits will not be factored into NCAA regional rankings. A team’s overall win-loss record, player statistics and coaching records will not be affected.

For any instances in a GNAC postseason tournament where a participating team cannot play a scheduled game for reasons related to an infectious disease outbreak or roster limitation issues, the game will be declared a “no contest.” The opposing team will advance in the bracket, which is in accordance with the current practice used in the NCAA championships.

Return to Activity Protocol Update
Coaches or student-athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to follow CDC guidelines for isolation. To return to activity, individuals who have met CDC requirements to end isolation after five days must either produce a negative COVID-19 test or wear a mask on days 6 through 10, including during competition. A positive test would require continued isolation.