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COVID-19 Sports Updates: Delayed Pro Baseball, Hockey, ‘March Madness’ Cancelled

The dominoes fell quickly.
The dominoes fell quickly. Photo Credit: Mark A. Philbrick (Brigham Young University)

Those who believed the dominoes would fall quickly throughout the sports world once the NBA decided to suspend its regular season because of the coronavirus were right.

In quick succession Thursday:

  • The NHL suspended its 2019-2020 season, effective immediately, with Commissioner Gary Bettman saying games would resume “as soon as it is appropriate and prudent.” He couldn’t say for sure whether it would affect the Stanley Cup playoffs;
  • The NCAA, which first announced Wednesday that its “March Madness” tournament games would be held without fans, cancelled the men’s and women’s games altogether;
  • Various conferences – among them, the Big East, SEC, ACC, Big 10 – canceled their conference tournaments;
  • Duke University suspended all athletic activities indefinitely. Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State all canceled their spring training football games;
  • Major League Baseball canceled its remaining spring training games and pushed back the scheduled March 26 start of the regular season by two weeks;
  • The XFL, the youngest pro sports association, waited a good part of the day before joining the rest.

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby was still scheduled for May 2, but organizers said that was subject to change depending on circumstances.

The largest event, in terms of global impact, the 2020 Olympics in Toyko, remains in limbo. The International Olympic Committee has said it can wait until May to make a decision.

The games are scheduled from July 24 to Aug. 9.

One early effect of COVID-19: Attendance at the flame-lighting ceremony in Greece on Thursday was limited to 100 accredited guests.

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