Big Ten Football is back after a vote Tuesday. The Big Ten season will start the weekend of Oct 23-24th.  The conference has gone back and forth over the past month trying to decide if they were going to play football or not.  Initially in August, the conference announced a new schedule of just conference games, and then the next day said they are postponing the season.  There has been a lot of athletes, fans, and parents upset that the Big Ten is not playing but others like ACC, Big 12 and SEC are playing.

The conference is going to require athletes, coaches, and anyone else in contact with the team and on the field for practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. The results must be completed and in the books prior to stepping on the field for each practice or game. Daily testing will begin by Sept. 30.

“Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test,” the release from the conference states.

“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”

The Big Ten Conference will use data provided by each Chief Infection Officer (CInO) to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition, as determined by team positivity rate and population positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average:

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
    • Green 0-2%
    • Orange 2-5%
    • Red >5%
  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
    • Green 0-3.5%
    • Orange 3.5-7.5%
    • Red >7.5%

Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.

 

The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.

The Pac 12 canceled their season the same day the Big Ten initially canceled. It will be interesting to see if they change course as well.

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