John's Weekly Sports Wrap-Up: Sports World Shutdown Due to Coronavirus
As the Wuhan Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, many events have been shut down. Unprecedented times have led to unprecedented measures. The sports world has been particularly hit hard as many leagues continue to announce postponements and cancellations. The last 4 days of sports or lack thereof, have led to shock and awe to sports fans who never thought they would see times such as these. Let's take a look at the timeline of this week's events in sports.
Timeline of Cancellations and Postponements
Tuesday, March 10
The Ivy League conference announced that its conference basketball tournament would be canceled and that the conference's regular-season champions would be awarded bids to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The conference later announced Wednesday that all remaining spring athletic events would be canceled all due to the coronavirus.
Wednesday, March 11
Early on in the day, the XFL and the NCAA Basketball Tournament announced that they would proceed as scheduled, but without fans in attendance. The domino that got the ball rolling was the NBA. Mere seconds before tipoff of a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Utah Jazz, team doctors sprinted onto the court to tell officials to halt the game. Both teams were sent back to their locker rooms and quarantined. After testing the players and staff for both teams, Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donavan Mitchell both tested positive for the virus. The league immediately announced it was suspending play. Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would use the hiatus to determine a course of action for the remainder of the season.
Thursday, March 12
Thursday was a day that won't be forgotten anytime soon by sports fans. While many sports fans were still reeling from the stunning news about the NBA the night before, more dominos began to fall in rapid succession. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) announced it was suspending play for 6 weeks due to the coronavirus. Major League Soccer soon followed by suspending play for 30 days. College Basketball followed as in short order the SEC, AAC, Big 10, C-USA, WAC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12, Big East, and A-10 all canceled their conference basketball tournaments. The PGA Tour announced it would continue as scheduled through the Texas Open, but without spectators, while NASCAR announced its races would continue without fans as well. The NHL followed by announcing it would suspend play until further notice, while the MLB canceled the remainder of baseball's spring training and decided to delay the 2020 season by 2 weeks. The NCAA came next announcing that it had canceled all winter and spring championship events, including both the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments. The XFL decided it would cancel the 2020 season and return in 2021. Shortly thereafter, the PGA reversed its previous decision, and canceled all events up through the Texas Open, including the remaining 3 rounds of this weekend's Players Championship. The final major shutdown of the day was the annual Boston Marathon announcing it would postpone the 2020 race scheduled for April 20.
Friday, March 13
The most recent decision was announced today, that the 2020 Master's Tournament would be postponed. Golf's first major of the year was scheduled for the weekend of April 9-12. Chairman Fred Ridley hopes to play the event at a later date.