NWAC basketball.

NWAC delays start of regional basketball play due to virus

The league also announces the basketball championship held in Everett will be pushed back two weeks.

Region play in Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) basketball will be starting later than originally scheduled.

NWAC announced Wednesday that the start of region play in men’s and women’s basketball is being pushed back from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 because of the increased number of COVID-19 cases.

Everett Community College and Edmonds College play in the North Region of the two-year college conference.

In addition to to the start of region play being delayed, the 2022 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, scheduled to take place at Everett’s Walt Price Student Fitness Center, have also been pushed back two weeks. They will now take place on March 17-20 and March 26-27.

NWAC had already been dealing with game cancellations because of COVID-19 during December. Both the Everett and Edmonds women’s teams forfeited nonleague games because of COVID protocols.

“We believe the decision is beneficial to our student-athletes, coaches and the athletic support staff, as the cancellation of games within the NWAC and across the athletic landscape continues,” NWAC executive director Marco Azurdia said in a statement. “Our goal is get our league games played as they are the most important games on the schedule, give our student-athletes a sense of normalcy as they work towards a championship opportunity, while being as safe as possible.”

Azurdia went on to say the delay in the start of region play will give schools the chance to update safety protocols, as well as allow players more time to get tested and potentially isolate following the holiday break.

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