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After long hiatus, York College to resume athletic action this weekend, but without fans

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
The York College baseball team celebrates a win on March 8, 2020. The York College season was shut down a few days because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a hiatus of nearly one year, the York College athletic programs are scheduled to get back into action this weekend.

The Spartans’ teams, however, will be performing without any fans in attendance.

The Middle Atlantic Conference released a statement on Wednesday reaffirming the league’s previous policy that spectators will not be permitted at its spring athletic events.

The MAC statement read, in part:

“Conference leadership believes that protecting the health and safety of the student-athletes and the greater campus communities must take priority. The MAC has reaffirmed a previous decision that spectators will not be permitted at any athletics events until further notice. No individuals outside of those deemed necessary to conduct the event may attend, including students, faculty or staff. This policy covers all MAC sports.

“The MAC leadership will continue to evaluate circumstances as the spring semester progresses and will provide updates regarding spectator attendance if and when that information becomes available.”

The MAC made the decision to move forward without fans despite the fact that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, earlier this week, eased the restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering limits. The number of people allowed in a building is now 15% of the building's capacity for indoor events. For outdoor events, the number of people allowed is 20% of the venue’s capacity.

Wolf said he eased the limits because of the lower number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

York College has not held any athletic events since mid-March of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shutdown of sports events across the nation. At that time, York was a member of the Capital Athletic Conference.

Now in the MAC: The Spartans officially became MAC members on July 1. York, however, has yet to play a MAC event. Because of the pandemic, York College did not compete in fall or winter sports.

That means this weekend’s events will be York College’s first events in nearly a year and their first events as MAC members.

Saturday, weather permitting, York College is slated to play a baseball doubleheader starting at noon at Lebanon Valley, a home men’s lacrosse match vs. Wilkes at 1 p.m. and a women’s lacrosse match at 1 p.m. at Wilkes. Both of York’s lacrosse teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally in preseason NCAA Division III polls.

Sunday, York College will play host to Lebanon Valley for another baseball doubleheader in York.

Additionally, the men’s and women’s swimming teams are scheduled to compete virtually at 6 p.m. Friday in a MAC Relay Meet.

In the absence of fans, York College has announced that all of its home events will be livestreamed at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ycp/. Most of York College’s road games will also be livestreamed. Those links will be available on York College’s online schedule page for each sport.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.