Big Sky Conference men's and women's basketball teams will play an 18-game conference schedule starting in 2014-15, commissioner Doug Fullerton announced Thursday.
The league will also reinstate men's golf as a championship sport after 13 years.
Presidents of the Big Sky institutions approved the scheduling concept, as well as several others proposals during their annual spring meetings in Missoula, Mont.
All of the proposals were brought forward by the Conference Council -- comprised of athletics directors, senior women administrators and faculty athletic representatives -- who met in May in Pocatello, Idaho.
Big Sky men's and women's basketball teams played a double-round robin 20-game schedule in 2012-13, and will again in 2013-14. The University of Idaho returns to the Big Sky for the majority of its sports on July 1, 2014, meaning the league will have 12 basketball and volleyball teams.
League administrators voted not to use a two-division format for basketball, but will implement a two-division format for volleyball. Volleyball will play a 16-match conference schedule, playing a double-round robin within the division, and crossing over to play teams in the other division once.
"We're ironing out the details of what schools will be in what division, as well as the division names for volleyball,'' Fullerton said. "A 16-game, two-division format made sense for volleyball. It contains the conference schedule to eight weeks, which allows us to move our championship out of Thanksgiving weekend. It's also easier for our volleyball teams to schedule non-conference games.
"However, our administrators felt like 18 games with no divisions will be a better format for basketball, where it becoming increasingly more difficult to schedule home Division I non-conference games. Playing in one division for basketball allows for a more equitable schedule than an 18-game schedule with two divisions. Our schedule will likely be modeled after the Pac-12's current model''
A proposal for a six-team soccer championship was approved starting in the fall of 2014. The addition of Idaho will give the league 11 soccer-playing members. The format will consist of the quarterfinals on Thursday, followed by the semifinals on Friday and the championship on Sunday.
This upcoming fall will be the final year of a four-team soccer tournament.
The league also announced plans to reinstate a men's golf championship in the spring of 2015. At that time, the Big Sky will have six members with men's golf teams, the minimum needed to host a championship.
League members North Dakota, Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, Southern Utah, and Weber State currently compete in the America Sky. Idaho's men's golf program currently competes in the WAC.
Men's golf was previously sponsored by the Big Sky from 1964-1977, 1977-1986, and 1993-2002.
* Sacramento State will continue to host the Big Sky tennis Ccampionship in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Sacramento State has hosted the tennis championship at the Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, Calif., six of the last seven years, and will do so again in 2014.
* New individual awards will be added in men's and women's basketball and football. Men's and women's basketball will honor a top reserve or "sixth-player" award. Football will honor a freshman of the year. Currently, football honored a newcomer of the year, which includes freshmen as well as four-year and junior college transfer candidates.
* The league also adopted a noisemaker policy for football. Spectators at all football games will not be allowed to have musical instruments or amplified artificial noisemakers, including but not limited to vuvuzelas and duck whistles.