How COVID-19 is affecting the sports world


Grayson Joslin

Over the past few months, the coronavirus strain COVID-19 has become an international epedemic. There have been over 200,000 confirmed cases in most of the countries on Earth. The novel disease has seen increased safety precautions, which includes quarantines, curfews and postponements and cancellations of events with large crowds. This has brought the sporting world to a halt not seen since the Second World War. Here is how some of the sporting leagues are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic:

NCAA: The NCAA, the sanctioning body over American college athletics, originally announced on March 11 that the remaining championship tournaments, including the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (March Madness) would take place in front of no fans. This followed after other college conferences, such as the MAC, announced that their basketball tournaments would take place in front of no fans. The next day, however, the NCAA announced that all winter semester championships, including the College World Series and March Madness would be cancelled.

IHSAA: The Indiana High School Athletic Association originally announced that the boys basketball regional tournament scheduled on March 14 would still continue, but with limited amounts of spectators. That would be changed a day before regionals, when the tournament was postponed indefinitely. The IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals took place on March 14 as scheduled without an audience.

Golf: The Masters Tournament, held in Georgia and considered to be the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, was postponed from its originally scheduled date of April 9-12 to a date to be announced.

Summer Olympics: The 2020 Summer Olympics, to be held in Toyko in late July and early August, hasn’t themselves been cancelled, but many of the qualifying events have been. The modern Summer Olympics have never been cancelled since its reestablishment in 1896.

NASCAR: The stock car league originally said that their upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was to be held with no spectators. On March 16, NASCAR announced that all events through May 3 would be postponed and not cancelled. NASCAR intends to run all 36 scheduled races in the Cup Series schedule in 2020.

NFL: The NFL is one of the few leagues to be majorly affected by the virus, as the league is in its offseason. Their annual draft, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on April 23-25, would be held without any fans and all public activities connected with the draft would be cancelled.

Horse racing: Churchill Downs, the track that hosts the prestigious Kentucky Derby, announced that the race would be moved from its usual May date to September 5. This is the first time since the Second World War that the Derby has been postponed. The Preakness Stakes, another prestigious horse race that is part of the Triple Crown along with the Kentucky Derby, would also be moved back to September.

MLB: On March 12, MLB announced the suspension of all of their preseason spring training activities. Opening Day of the 2020 season, originally scheduled on March 26, would now be postponed until April 9.

NBA: On March 11, a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets was announced to be taking place without any fans. Later that day, the entire NBA season was suspended as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA still plans on continuing and finishing the season.

NHL: The National Hockey League first announced suspended media access to the locker rooms in early March. On March 12, the NHL, along with the other minor league hockey leagues, announced their suspension of the season until further notice.

The epidemic has truly brought the sports world to a standstill. It will be a tough few weeks without sports, but as always, the health of people all around the comes first.