As the 2021 season draws closer, more leagues are putting together what the standards will be for teams that are unable to complete a game due to Covid-19 this upcoming season. The Atlantic Coast Conference released theirs on Thursday.
And after the squabble between Dabo Swinney and Florida State last season, it’s probably for the best these things are written down in advance. While it’s much less likely we lose games in 2021, outbreaks of the pandemic are still possible even with teams that are mostly vaccinated.
With the “we’ll figure it out later” rules of last year set aside, we’ll know much more about what happens when a team misses a game before it happens.
The Big 12 was the first to set policies, and the ACC rules are very similar.
ACC joins other leagues in moving to forfeits for teams unable to field sufficient rosters due to COVID. Also significant changes to the conference's medical guidelines. pic.twitter.com/VKUDxay1yG— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) August 19, 2021
From the league:
If a 2021 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date by a team unable to play due to an insufficient number of available players related to COVID-19, that team shall be deemed to have forfeited, with a loss assigned to the team unable to play and a win assigned to its scheduled opponent, with both the loss and win, respectively, applied to the conference standings.
If a 2021 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to any factor(s) directly associated with a Game Discontinuation Consideration as listed in the current ACC Medical Advisory Group (MAG) Report, the Conference’s sport rescheduling policy shall apply.
If a 2021 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to both teams being unable to play due to an insufficient number of available players related to COVID-19, both teams shall be deemed to have forfeited, with a loss assigned to both teams and applied to the conference standings.
Also to note that teams that have an 85% vaccination rate or higher must test unvaccinated individuals just once a week, while teams at below 85% must test three times a week.
So if you can’t play a game in the ACC, there will be a penalty. And there ire no built-in makeup dates in case games are missed. We’ll continue to monitor how FBS leagues will deal with missed games because of the pandemic.