WHITEFISH -- No spectators will be in the stands when Frontier Conference basketball teams take the courts this winter. At least not in 2020.
The Frontier Conference released its "COVID-19 Return to Play" policy on Friday and announced that "Frontier Conference institutions will NOT have spectators at hosted events through December 31, 2020. This decision will be evaluated by each institution at a later point in time as conditions change."
The Frontier Conference Council of Presidents approved the policy, which includes weekly COVID-19 testing for all in-season student-athletes. Mandatory health screening will be required at each school's athletic facilities, and each school will be required to establish contact tracing protocols with their local health authorities.
“The document was authored by the league’s athletic directors and athletic trainers," conference commissioner Kent Paulson said in a media release. “The document was designed to supplement and further detail the health protocols that have been in place for the fall sports. By following these health protocols through the support of contest administration and medical training staffs, the league was able to successfully complete play in both cross country and golf.”
“The safety of our league’s student-athletes, coaches and staffs will always be first and foremost on our list of priorities,” Paulson added. “By continuing to follow our proven successful health protocols it is the goal that the upcoming sports of basketball, indoor track and field, volleyball and football can be successfully carried out to a positive completion."
Like many NAIA conferences across the country, the Frontier opted to postpone most of its fall sports seasons. The Frontier did complete golf and cross country seasons in the fall, but the football and volleyball seasons were pushed to the spring of 2021.
The Frontier Conference men's and women's basketball seasons are scheduled to tip off on Dec. 5, though some programs, including both the Carroll College men and women and Montana Tech men, have already played non-conference games.