Due to the developing threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the College today announced its decision to hold the three women’s basketball NCAA sectional games that will be hosted at Bowdoin this weekend without allowing any spectators into the arena.
Although Morrell Gymnasium was expected to reach close to its capacity of 1,500 fans, the only people allowed into the venue besides the teams will be credentialed game operations personnel and administrative staff, according to an announcement posted on the Bowdoin Athletics website.
This is one of a number of structural changes to postseason women’s basketball due to coronavirus. Amherst will also be holding its Division III sectional qualifier this Friday against George Fox University without any fans, and the Ivy League announced today the cancelation of its postseason men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, which was created on March 6, announced today in a release that it did not explicitly advise against holding NCAA sporting events. However, the panel understands that individual schools have the discretion to make their own choices.
“NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference play,” said the panel in today’s release.
As of yet, no other NCAA Division III women’s basketball sectionals host schools have announced that they will be eliminating spectator attendance, but it is likely that as the week progresses, other programs will follow suit.
Although fans will not be able to watch the Polar Bears compete in person, this weekend’s three games will all be broadcast live on Northeast Sports Network, and Bowdoin’s matchup versus Trine University will also be available live as a radio broadcast in the Brunswick area on WCME Radio (99.5 FM/900 AM) on Friday at 7 p.m..