WATERVILLE — The North Atlantic Conference announced Wednesday that it will move ahead with conference competition in the spring.

UMaine-Presque Isle president Ray Rice, who chairs the NAC Presidents’ Council, said in a statement that baseball, softball, men’s lacrosse, and women’s lacrosse teams will compete against one conference opponent a week.

“Though we remain cautious, we are thrilled to move forward with plans to return to competitive sports,” Rice said in the statement.  “It has been a long year and student-athletes have missed so much already, but we have smart plans and backup plans in place. Administrators across the conference are committed to providing a meaningful experience this spring if at all possible.”

The 13-member NAC, which includes five Maine colleges (Thomas, Maine Maritime, Husson, UMaine-Presque Isle and UMaine-Farmington), did not offer conference competition in the fall or winter because of safety concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

The NAC said that each member school will determine specific safety protocols, including whether fans will be permitted.

Furthermore, to limit the amount of cross-state travel, all regular-season conference events will remain in-division. Baseball, softball and men’s lacrosse will have two rounds in a conference postseason. The semifinals will pit the top-two teams in each division against one another. The East and West champions would play for the title. In women’s lacrosse, which has fewer teams, the winners of the two divisions will square off in a conference championship game.

Men’s golf and women’s tennis conference championships will also be held in the spring.

The NAC also announced that plans are under way for a conference track and field meet.

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