For the first time since students returned to campus in the fall, athletic competitions have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first domino to fall was the women’s basketball game scheduled for Dec. 29, 2021 against the University of Central Florida Knights. The game was canceled “due to current COVID-19 protocols in place,” implying that there was significant enough spread within the Central Florida program to prohibit them from making the trip to New Jersey.
The Princeton women were able to open the Ivy League season on Jan. 2, however, defeating Harvard by a score of 68–50 at Jadwin Gym. Their next Ivy League game will take place at Columbia on Jan. 7. The team currently stands at 7–4.
The men, meanwhile, were unable to open their Ivy League season on the road in Cambridge, as it was announced on Dec. 31 that the game against Harvard would be postponed “due to COVID-19 concerns… within the Harvard program.” The game has since been rescheduled to Feb. 27. The men currently sit at 10–3.
The men’s and women’s teams are not the only squads in the Ivy League to be affected by COVID-19 outbreaks this season. The Yale men’s basketball team has had their first two Ivy League games postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program, and three other schools have seen games postponed or canceled for their women’s basketball teams.
Cancellations and postponements will likely continue through the season. NCAA basketball has been hit hard by the virus, with over 110 of Division I’s 353 men’s programs having been paused due to an outbreak during the season so far. While some programs in other conferences have been forced to forfeit due to outbreaks, Meghan Moore, an Assistant Executive Director of the Ivy League, assured that should any Ivy League games not be re-schedulable, the matchup will be declared “no contest,” meaning that neither team will register a loss or win as a result.
With all eight Ivy League schools now requiring booster shots for the spring semester, there is a hope that postponements will occur less frequently. But with pandemic uncertainty at its highest in months, there are no guarantees on how this season will exactly pan out.
Wilson Conn is an associate editor for the ‘Prince’ sports section. He can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter at @wilson_conn.