The Presidents’ Council of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) — which includes Saint Mary’s University — voted to approve plans for a return to competitive athletics this winter.
The MIAC winter sports of basketball, hockey, indoor track and field, and swimming and diving will be permitted to participate in regular-season competition. The MIAC will not host winter-sport playoffs nor conference postseason championship meets; however, participation in NCAA championship competition will be permitted for qualifying teams and individuals. To prioritize focus on student-athlete and staff safety, spectators will not be allowed at MIAC contests during the winter season.
MIAC basketball and hockey programs will begin a seven-game conference schedule on Saturday, February 6. The basketball and hockey schedules will follow a single round-robin format, wherein each participating team will play every other team once, with the team achieving the best winning percentage while completing at least 51 percent of the schedule claiming the MIAC championship and automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, teams will have the opportunity to schedule up to four non-conference contests beginning on January 29. The MIAC will not host basketball or hockey playoffs in 2021
Regular-season basketball games will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, with midweek and weekend hockey contests set for 7:00 p.m., pending facility availability. Institutions that have opted out of conference play are permitted to compete in non-conference competition during the NCAA-approved competition window. Teams that do not compete this season may continue to participate in practices, strength and conditioning, skill development, and leadership programming in accordance with NCAA, MIAC, and institutional policies, as well as the guidelines put forth by the Minnesota Department of Health.
MIAC indoor track and field and swimming and diving programs will be able to participate in regular-season meets at the discretion of each institution, as there is no assigned conference schedule for these sports; however, due to safety and logistical concerns, the typical postseason conference championship meets for these sports will not be held this winter.
All MIAC programs in the competition segment will follow the safety guidelines recommended by the NCAA Medical Advisory Board and Minnesota Department of Health.
Planning continues for fall and spring sports, and updated information will be provided as it becomes finalized.