Over the past month, the spread of the coronavirus disease has had significant impacts on global infrastructure and transportation processes. Measures have been taken worldwide to prevent the spread and limit large gatherings, many of which occur in the realm of sports.
Unsurprisingly, the sports world has started to take notice and understand the gravity of the situation by canceling major tournament events at the collegiate and professional level.
The situation is changing day-to-day, as leagues around the world are receiving new information that could have drastic impacts on how their respective seasons play out. Here are the latest responses to the pandemic:
On Thursday, the NCAA announced that all winter and spring sports have officially been suspended until further notice.
All remaining winter and spring tournaments and championships have been canceled, not postponed. It is an unfortunate decision for all parties involved, including the seniors who have played their last games for their respective schools.
Yes, that now means that the NCAA Basketball Tournament and Final Four Championship has officially been canceled for men’s and women’s teams. It is a stunning, but absolutely necessary decision in the wake of recent events.
After all conference tournament games leading up to the NCAA Basketball Tournament were canceled earlier on Thursday, the association ultimately decided to cancel the whole tournament to take even more drastic measures.
“The decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during the academic year given the ongoing decisions by other entities.”
It truly has become March Madness, in every sense of the word.
What that means for BC is that all potential tournaments that the Eagles would have participated in are no longer an option and their seasons are over.
This news is particularly disappointing for the Men’s Hockey team that was ranked No. 4 in the country and having one of their best seasons in recent years. They were certainly in the running for winning the overall NCAA Frozen Four Championship after a recent hot streak which saw them winning 8 of their last 9 games.
It is also difficult news for the Women’s Lacrosse who were looking to reach the top of the ACC and reach their fourth consecutive national championship game. They also looked to shake the label of having a “down year” and prove that this team is a legitimate contender no matter how many stars are playing.
Additionally, BC Birdball, Softball, and Men’s and Women’s Tennis will not be able to participate in their conference tournaments.
The first domino to fall naturally occurred overseas in Europe among the various soccer leagues, where the virus spread before coming to the United States.
As of Friday, the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), Ligue 1 (France), the MLS (USA), and others have suspended play indefinitely.
The Champions League, Europa League, and Euro 2020 tournaments have been suspended as a result.
On Wednesday night, the NBA became the first league in the United States to suspend the rest of their season after the Jazz-Thunder game scheduled for that night was canceled due to a fear (later confirmed true) that NBA star Rudy Gobert had contracted the virus.
Adam Silver will reconsider the situation for at least 30 days and decide at that point whether or not to start the league again. This would mean significant ramifications to the schedules already in place.
The NBA ultimately set the precedent for the rest of the American sports leagues to follow.
The MLB has suspended the rest of Spring Training and has decided to push back the start of the regular season by at least four weeks, the league announced on Thursday.
The season was scheduled to start on March 26th.
The NHL has suspended the rest of the season, effective immediately, and will reevaluate the season at an appropriate time, becoming the third professional league at the time to do so.
The NFL has not made any significant changes to the upcoming season and has been closely monitoring the situation. As of now, there haven’t been any changes to the 2020 NFL Draft either. The league, however, has required that all employees must work from home.
Some teams have even gone so far as to pull their scouts back from attending NFL Pro-Days on college campuses and restrict all travel, including the Redskins and Buccaneers, so far.
The PGA Tour has decided to cancel the rest of the Players’ Championship occurring this week and has postponed all events until April 9th, including the famous Masters Tournament.
As fans across the world experience the next couple months without their favorite sports, it is, fortunately, the least of their worries. The virus will continue to have significant impacts on all facets of the world for the time being as we move forward into more uncharted territory.