SASKATOON -- Despite some university sports returning to practice, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canada West to cancel many regular season, playoff and championship events for the 2020-2021 season.

Canada West announced on Thursday that men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, hockey and wrestling, along with women’s rugby sevens seasons will be cancelled.

Decisions around staging the 2020-2021 Canada West championships in curling, track and field and swimming have been deferred to a later date.

“This isn't the outcome any of us wanted, however, it has become increasingly clear over the last few weeks that the environment wasn't going to change sufficiently to ensure safe competition in traditional conference formats in these sports," said Canada West President Clint Hamilton in a media release.

A vote of the conference's 17 members formally made the cancellations and deferrals, following recommendations from the Canada West board of directors based on information provided by the Canada West COVID-19 Task Force.

"Ultimately our members saw no feasible path to staging traditional Canada West conference events during the 2020-21 season in these sports. With today's decision our members have opted to provide clarity to our stakeholders, most importantly our student-athletes,” Hamilton said.

“Collectively we didn't take the decision to cancel fall competition lightly in June, and today's announcement is equally disappointing to everyone involved in university sport. Our members will now shift their focus to finding new ways of delivering non-conference sport competition for our student-athletes."