The Mid-American Conference announced Tuesday a plan to change its postseason tournaments for 17 sports, including eliminating the tourneys for eight sports.
Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, conference champions in field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball will be determined based on regular-season league records, rather than postseason tournaments.
Additionally, the MAC volleyball tournament will be reduced from the top-eight teams to the top four, men’s and women’s basketball from all 12 teams to the top eight, men’s and women’s swimming and diving from four days to three, men’s and women’s outdoor track from three days to two and men’s and women’s golf from three days to two.
The MAC eliminated the opening-round campus-site games for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and will play 20-game conference schedules, rather than an 18-game conference slate, beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.
Baseball and softball will move from 24-game conference schedules to 30-game league slates.
The MAC sports that are unaffected by the changes are football, men’s and women’s cross country, gymnastics and wrestling.
According to a Tuesday press release from the MAC, the changes are a result of a league-initiated study to explore inefficiencies in sports operations across its 24 sponsored sports, with a focus on reducing costs, while retaining institutional mandates and remaining consistent with institutional priorities and principles of equity and diversity.
The MAC initiated the study due to the financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption to the economy.
The plan covers four years and will be evaluated as the economic situation stabilizes and improves.
It also comes a day after member school Western Michigan announced a 20-percent reduction to its $31-million athletic budget.