MAC fall sports to return in spring with league-only schedules

Sean Blevins Sports reporter

Mid-American Conference fall sports will return in early 2021, with teams only playing conference games, the league announced on Monday. 

The MAC was the first conference to postpone fall sports back in August due to the coronavirus. 

The league decided in early October to resume football, starting Nov. 4. The NCAA moved the basketball starting date back to Nov. 25. 

Committees consisting of student-athletes, coaches, faculty, administrators and medical personnel made the scheduling decisions based on the “health and welfare of the participants,” said MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher in a statement. 

Here’s a sport-by-sport rundown of the schedule:


  • 22 Conference matches in a double round-robin format between Jan. 22 and March 27. 

  • Teams will face the same opponent twice in one weekend at one site.

  • Travel partners will play midweek the two weeks following the MAC Basketball Tournament. 

  • Matches will take place on Thursdays and Fridays.

  • A four-team championship will take place on April 2 and April 3 at the site of the team with the best overall conference record. The winner will get the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Women’s Soccer

  • Teams will play 10 conference matches in a divisional double round-robin format between March 4 and April 11. 

  • Matches will be played on Thursdays and Sundays.  

  • The two divisional winners will play on April 17 for the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The team with the better record will host the game. 

Field Hockey

  • Teams will play 12 conference matches in a double round-robin format between March 12 and April 24.    

  • Teams will face the same opponent twice in one weekend at one site. 

  • Each team will play Bellarmine University, who will join the MAC for field hockey in 2021-22. 

  • The regular season champion will receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

  • Games will be played on Fridays and Saturdays.

Plans for men’s and women’s cross country are still in the works, according to the conference. 

The schedules are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here is the full MAC announcement.

Sean Blevins is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.