The University of Vermont will not begin its winter sports season as planned.

Less than a week after announcing its guys’s and females’s hockey schedules– and less than a week before those seasons were supposed to start– UVM announced Sunday evening that it will not contend in any winter sports contests until at least Dec. 18.

UVM athletic director Jeff Schulman said in a declaration that his department got to the choice after conversations with the Vermont Department of Health and university president Suresh Garimella. He described the relocation as the “most responsible strategy.”

The UVM men’s and women’s hockey teams were preparing to start their 2020-21 projects versus Connecticut this Friday.

More: Hockey East schedules: UVM men to open season in your home vs. UConn on Nov. 20

The males’s basketball group had actually prepared to kick off its season on Nov. 30 with the very first of three games in as numerous days. The Catamounts were to take part in a multi-team event called “Bubbleville” at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

More: America East schedules: What you need to understand for UVM men’s, ladies’s basketball

” Our state is obviously seeing a considerable boost in COVID-19 cases and it is very important that our programs are operating in a manner that is consistent with guidance from state officials,” Schulman said in a statement. “I certainly feel for our student-athletes, coaches and personnel who have been following rigorous protocols in getting ready for a return to competition.

” Moving forward, we will make every effort to play out our competitive schedules while always focusing on the health and wellbeing of our student-athletes, in addition to that of our school and community.”

As the schedule stood on Sunday night, the very first action of the winter season would see the Catamount hoops teams squaring off against UMass Lowell on Dec. 19, the very same day the UVM women’s hockey is supposed to host New Hampshire.

The state revealed recently that, with the COVID-19 cases surging, all recreational sports are suspended till a minimum of Dec. 15 unless otherwise mentioned.

Vermont high school winter sports contests will not start till at least Jan. 11.