Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

The Ivy League's latest decision means that conference-sponsored athletic activities will not take place for the entire 2020-21 season.

February 18, 2021

Ivy League Cancels Spring Conference Play, Leaves Door Open on Local Competition

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Following the cancellations of the fall and winter sports seasons, the Ivy League Council of Presidents announced Thursday it will cancel conference competition and conference championships this spring. 

The decision came with the condition that limited, local competition may be able to take place later in the spring, if public health conditions improve.  

Given the strict public health restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Ivy League Council of Presidents determined that conference play simply would not be feasible. 

“As campus and community leaders, we believe that our public health responsibilities and educational principles preclude us from sponsoring Ivy League athletics competition this spring,” the council wrote in its Thursday statement. 

“The public health measures now in effect at all Ivy League universities have been carefully designed to support our teaching and research missions while keeping our students, faculty, staff and neighboring communities safe,” the statement continued.

Because of the strict policies already governing campus life — including restrictions on travel and campus visitation — the Ivy League decided it could not conduct conference play under these measures. 

In the meantime, individual Ivy League institutions will continue to progress through the conference’s phases for athletic activities, which dictate the course of resuming trainings, practices and other virtual and in-person activities. Local competition in the spring would fall under the purview of Phase IV. 

“While we would like nothing better than to deliver a complete season of competition, these are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic,” the presidents’ statement read. “We will continue to monitor the situation as we move forward so that our universities can determine whether Ivy League principles and evolving health conditions might allow for limited, local competition later this spring.”