The Big West Conference announced Wednesday the updated schedule for the upcoming 2020-21 Beach basketball season.
Shortened to mitigate potential transmission of the coronavirus, all 11 members of the Big West will play under a modified schedule under health and safety regulations, consisting of 20 games, the majority of which taking place on Friday and Saturday at one location.
The men’s and women’s season is set to commence on Sunday, Dec. 27 versus University of California, Riverside.
The Beach is slated to play versus University of California, Riverside; University of California San Diego; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of California, Davis; California State University, Bakersfield; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Northridge; California Polytechnic State University; University of Hawaii and University of California Irvine.
Teams will contest the schedule over an 11-week period with one bye week. Games will not be rescheduled should a team need to quarantine during the season.
Tie-breaking procedures will be resumed at the end of the regular-season.
According to Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley, teams will be required to be tested three times a week, per National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines.
“The NCAA has said we could play fall sports. In the spring, I’m not sure we’ll go down that road,” Conoley said. “The fall sports played last year, they didn’t lose their season, and it would be enormously expensive and a scheduling nightmare from my standpoint, though I don’t do the scheduling, to kind of pack all the sports in the spring.”
Men’s and women’s schedules will mirror one another as they will be playing the same opponent at opposite venues.
Regular season conference competition is scheduled to conclude on March 6.
“We’ll play a team on Friday night, and we’ll play the same team on Saturday to limit exposure, so you’re not interacting with twice the number of students,” Conoley said. “The NCAA doctor who we consulted with on Friday night said the Friday test for that Friday night game would count for this Saturday.”
According to the Big West Board of Directors, all teams will begin the season without spectators in the stands.
The 2021 Big West Basketball Tournament is slated to take place from Wednesday, March 10 to Saturday, March 13 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Eight men’s and eight women’s teams will compete under one roof over those four days.
“The athletic department has been up to their ears and kind of making 10-foot squares and figuring out how to do stuff that let the students practice but not share too much equipment,” Conoley said.
Men’s basketball senior guard Jordan Roberts said that he has been praying on the return of the season.
“I’ve just thought about it for a while, like I prayed on it, I sat and prayed on it. Then I just figured that this would probably be the best option honestly,” Roberts said.
When asked about utilizing the Rhodes Tennis Center for outdoor practice, Roberts said it has been “unusual for sure.”
“It’s not something on YouTube, I feel like everyone hasn’t done anything like that since elementary, shooting outside on the request like that,” Roberts said. “If you picture [it] with a good mindset, I just think you’ll get through it, so it’s only a phase that we have to get to in order to get to the end stage that we need to be, so it hasn’t been bad.”
Julia Terbeche, news editor, contributed to the reporting of this article.