MAC announces major changes involving postseason, conference play

Editors note: This story has been updated to include the official statement from the Mid-American Conference.

The Mid-American Conference has announced changes that will have major ramifications across its sports beginning in the 2020-21 season. 

On Monday, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced that postseason tournaments will be eliminated in eight sports and altered in both men's and women's basketball. 

The sports whose postseason tournaments will be eliminated include baseball, softball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's lacrosse and field hockey. The cuts were first reported by Jordan Strack of WTOL in Toledo, Ohio. 

According to the report, the conference will also do away with divisions in both men's and women's basketball. Both sports will play 20 conference games instead of the current 18. There will be no first-round campus games in each sport's respective tournament, meaning that only the top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the postseason. 

Volleyball also had its tournament cut to a four-team format from eight teams. 

Men's and women's swimming and diving were cut to three-day championships while men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field as well as men's and women's were each cut to two-day events. 

MAC baseball and softball teams will play 30 regular season conference games.

"The pandemic and resulting financial issues play into that," Steinbrecher told WTOL. "As the financial situation changes, it will give us a chance to re-evaluate." 

In the statement from the conference, the plan is set to be in place until the end of the 2025 academic year. 

"The plan covers four years and will be evaluated as the economic situation stabilizes and improves."