EDMONTON – Canada West announced revised regular-season sport formats for the upcoming 2020-21 season Monday, as the conference works to best position university sport for an eventual return to play.
The revised formats were approved by the CW Board of Directors, following more than a month of work by the CW Sport Committee and Board. The new formats will feature fewer games and less travel in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in significant disruptions to member finances. The revised formats will also allow for competition to occur in a condensed period of time should COVID-19 restrictions limit, but not eliminate the amount of time available to complete the 2020-21 season.
Several key principles guided the Board's decision-making process, including:
- Protecting the health and safety of all involved in university sport.
- Providing CW members with conference formats that best ensure their short-term financial viability and long-term sustainability.
- Ensuring that health authorities in all four provinces provide clearance before members resume any competition.
"While there remains uncertainty around when university sport will return, the CW Board of Directors has worked diligently to ensure that when it does the conference and our members are prepared to navigate the difficult financial realities ahead of us," said CW President Clint Hamilton.
"The revised sport formats reflect the financial constraints our members will find themselves in as both a direct and indirect result of COVID-19. We remain hopeful that we will be able to compete during the 2020-21 season and deliver an excellent university sport experience for our student-athletes."
"I'd like to thank the CW Sport Committee and my fellow Board members for their leadership through these challenging times. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues at U SPORTS and across the country to ensure university sport remains an integral part of the campus experience."
Playoff formats, along with conference regular-season schedules, will be released at a later date.
Ultimately a determination on Canada West's 2020-21 season will be contingent on clearance from health authorities in all four Western provinces, member universities permitting sport competition, and the availability of venues suitable for Canada West competition.
MEN'S & WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (17 teams)
- 16 games per team
- B.C. Division (7 teams): 3 games vs. 4 teams + 2 additional games vs. 2 teams
- Alberta Division (5 teams): 4 games vs. 4 teams
- Sask. / Manitoba Division (5 teams): 4 games vs. 4 teams
More information to follow as the basketball season approaches.