NESCAC adds ninth game

Trinity has run the table in the NESCAC more than anyone else in the past 20 seasons. It will take nine wins to do so now.
Trinity (Conn.) athletics photo 

For decades, the New England Small College Athletic Conference has had 10 teams but has played just an eight-game schedule, without a full round-robin, non-conference play or postseason eligibility.

One of those self-imposed restrictions will be lifted this fall, as the NESCAC will allow teams to play a nine-game schedule, playing each of its other nine conference opponents once. Currently, the conference schedule has involved the same seven games for each team, with the opening week opponent rotating on a two-year basis.

The NESCAC's new games

Here are the games which were often scheduled as scrimmages, but will now count in the NESCAC standings. They will be played on Sept. 16 this season:
Bates at Amherst
Bowdoin at Williams
Colby at Trinity (Conn.)
Hamilton at Tufts
Wesleyan at Middlebury
Full NESCAC schedule

Typically, teams play the other opponent in a scrimmage the week before the NESCAC season opens. This meeting will now be formalized into a game.

“We are pleased to move to a full, round-robin schedule for football,” said Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney, chair of the conference committee. “Converting the scrimmage to a regular season game solves challenges institutions had finding opponents to play in a scrimmage and supports our efforts to improve safety.”

This change will also result in fewer live contact practices for teams as they prepare for a game rather than a scrimmage. The NESCAC head football coaches fully supported the change and reduction in contact practices. The coaches also unanimously agreed to continue their current practice of players not engaging in live tackling during practice once in-season. 
“Moving to full round robin alleviates the difficulty institutions encountered trying to schedule scrimmages due to our later start date,” stated NESCAC executive director Andrea Savage. “Additionally, reducing the number of contact practices supports our continuing efforts on enhancing health and safety.”

The NESCAC begins practice on Sept. 1, around the time most schools are starting regular season play. 

The conference will maintain its policy of not allowing teams to schedule non-conference games for football, and will continue to prohibit its football programs from participating in postseason play.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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