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All major sports take a timeout

Sports in the United States have followed the lead of the European leagues and other international organizations by calling time out. This is in light of COVID-19 spreading to the U.S. This is the first time since World War I that professional sports have paused for more than a week, as they did after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Players infected

First, there were plans to play games without people in the stadium, which is what had happened in Europe with some soccer matches. However, that changed on Wednesday, March 11, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. This was the day after playfully touching microphones and recording devices of reporters covering the potential for a shutdown. News of Gobert was soon followed by Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell also contracting the virus. A handful of European soccer players have also contracted the virus. For an updated list, click here.

The list of professional leagues

As of March 13, all professional sports had halted, including:

  • Basketball has suspended its season midway through.
  • Baseball has canceled the end of spring training and the first two weeks of the regular season.
  • Soccer has suspended its season for 30 days just as it was scheduled to begin.
  • Hockey has suspended its season midway through.
  • Tennis announced its pro tour would stop for six weeks.
  • Golf canceled all tournaments up until The Masters (April 9-12).

Colleges cancel competitions

The NCAA had planned to hold its tournaments without fans in the stands. It has revised that plan to stop all play as the professional leagues began to announce their suspensions and schools across the country to announce they would move to online classes. This led to college basketball players literally taken off the court.

  • The Final Four tournament is canceled.
  • Other winter sports championships are canceled.
  • Spring sports will not begin at this time.

Why is this happening?

This highly contagious and deadly virus thrives when people come in contact. There are few sports outside of little league that draw fewer than the recommended maximum of 200 people at a public gathering. This impacts fans, stadium workers, teams, athletes, and those who come in contact with them. In essence, it affects everyone. Kudos to the decision-makers for getting it right.

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