BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced on Tuesday that the SUNY Athletic Conference will play spring sports starting on March 20th. That means Buffalo State’s softball, women’s lacrosse and outdoor track and field teams will be able to play in their seasons this year.

“The pandemic has kept our student athletes off the playing field for too long, but thanks to the great work and effort of SUNYAC Commissioner DiCamillo, our campus presidents, the SUNYAC leadership, athletic directors, coaches, and our athletes, we’ve developed a workable plan to resume athletic competition at SUNY,” said Chancellor Malatras.

“I look forward to all of the great competition this year, and SUNY, like always, will aggressively handle any situations related to COVID as they emerge. I have confidence in our students—both on and off the field—to stay the course and comply to keep one another and our entire campuses and communities safe.”

According to SUNYAC, the Conference will be split into East and West regions to limit overnight stays and travel. Masks will be worn at all times by athletes, coaches and officials, with the exception of athletes during competition and active practice.

No fans will be allowed at games. Athletes will receive weekly testing and COVID symptom checks before competition, and before leaving for road games, athletes will be tested within three days of departure. Bus capacity will be reduced to 50%, and there will be no eating on the bus.

There will be no handshakes, group celebrations, or pre or post interaction with opposing teams. Rising COVID positivity rates could delay or pause competition.