Big West conference officially expands with additions of Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego

Sports

Cal State Bakesfield, UC San Diego (Courtesy Big West Conference)

The Big West Conference officially expanded on Wednesday with the additions of Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego, increasing the total amount of members from nine to 11. The University of Hawaii remains the only school in the conference located outside of California.

UC San Diego, which is making the transition from Division II to Division I, will compete in conference games but not in conference tournament competition until the 2024-2025 season. This is due to the NCAA’s four-year reclassification rule when a school jumps up a division.

CSU Bakersfield is permitted to compete in conference games and conference tournaments right away, as the Roadrunners were previously Division I members of the Western Athletic Conference.

The UC San Diego Tritons will compete in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s volleyball, and women’s water polo.  

The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners will compete in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s volleyball and beach volleyball.

The addition of both programs has already created a scheduling quirk in men’s and women’s basketball, as the conference season will increase from 16 to 20 games, beginning in the 2020-2021 season. For the UH men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the other teams in the conference, that means a reduced amount of nonconference games in order to accommodate the Big West schedule.

The University of Hawaii is primarily a member of the Big West Conference, although it competes in the MPSF for swimming and diving, as well as track and field. Additionally, UH is a football-only member of the Mountain West Conference.

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