Impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic on sports

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The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has caused the most significant disruption to the worldwide sporting calendar since World War II. Across the world and to varying degrees, sports events have been cancelled or postponed.[1][2]

Multiple event competitions[edit]

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games were cancelled,[3] while the 2020 ASEAN Para Games were postponed.[4] In the Philippines, the NCAA Season 95 and UAAP Season 82 were both indefinitely suspended.[4][5] NCAA Season 95 was terminated on 19 March.[6]

Summer Olympics[edit]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic itself has been a concern for the 2020 Summer Olympics which were scheduled to take place in Tokyo starting at the end of July. Due to the Olympics, the country's government has been taking extra precautions to help minimise the outbreak's worst impact.[7][8] However, qualifying events are being canceled or postponed almost daily.[9] There have been suggestions that the 2020 Olympics be moved to London in light of the situation. Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike indicated at the end of February 2020 that such a move was not under consideration at the moment.[10][11]

The traditional Olympic flame lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, to mark the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay was held on March 12 without spectators.[12]

On March 24, it was announced that the Summer Olympics would be postponed to 2021, still to be held in Tokyo. Six days later, the Olympics made a reschedule date to twelve months from the original scheduled dates of 24 July to 9 August 2020, to 23 July to 8 August 2021.[13][14]

Gaelic games[edit]

The Gaelic games of football, hurling, camogie and ladies' football – mostly played in Ireland – saw all competitions suspended from 12 March 2020. The National Hurling League, National Football League, National Camogie League and Ladies' National Football League were suspended, with competitions not intended to resume until 29 March at the earliest.[15][16] On 17 March, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) confirmed that the opening fixture of the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship – due to have taken place at Gaelic Park in The Bronx on 3 May – had been postponed.[17]

NCAA[edit]

On March 11, 2020, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — the main U.S. sanctioning body for college athletics — initially announced that its winter-semester championships and tournaments, including its popular men's basketball tournament (widely known as "March Madness"), would be conducted with "only essential staff and limited family attendance".[18] However, the following day, the NCAA announced that all remaining championship events for the 2019–20 academic year would be cancelled entirely. This marked the first cancellation in the 81-year history of the NCAA basketball tournament.[19]

BUCS[edit]

On 16 March 2020, British Universities and Colleges Sport, the UK organisation for university sport, announced that all fixtures from 17 March to 1 April would not take place. Some individual events, like the orienteering and windsurfing championships were cancelled entirely, while others were postponed indefinitely.[20]

Alpine skiing[edit]

The 2019–20 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup ended two weeks earlier after World Cup races in Sweden, Slovenia, and Italy scheduled for March were cancelled.[21][22][23] An earlier February World Cup race was moved from China to Austria.[24]

Archery[edit]

The opening stage of the 2020 Archery World Cup, scheduled to be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 20 to 26 April, was postponed. Other events postponed include the Pan American Archery Championships, which were scheduled to be held in Monterrey, Mexico, from 23 to 29 March, and the European Para-Archery Championships, which were scheduled to be held in Olbia, Italy, from 18 to 26 April.[25]

Association football[edit]

On 13 March 2020, FIFA announced that clubs did not have to release players to their national teams during the international windows of March and April 2020, while players also had the option to decline a call-up without any consequences. FIFA also recommended that all international matches during these windows be postponed, though the final decision was left to the competition organisers or member associations for friendly matches.[26]

By 28th March, Belarusian Premier League and Liga Primera de Nicaragua were the only two top flight national football leagues not suspended.[27]

Africa[edit]

On 17 March 2020, CAF announced that the 2020 African Nations Championship had been postponed to a later date due to the pandemic.[28]

Asia[edit]

In China, the 2020 Chinese Super League was postponed as a result of the virus.[29] In Hong Kong, the 2020 Lunar New Year Cup was cancelled on January 23.[30] Other leagues in Asia were affected, including South Korea's K League 1 and Japan's J1 League.[31][32] The AFC Champions League and AFC Cup was also impacted, a number of group stage and play-off matches being postponed.[33]

On March 9, 2020, FIFA and AFC announced that 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches due to take place in March and June 2020 were postponed to later dates due to the pandemic.[34] Play-off matches between South Korea and China in the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament were also postponed.[35]

In India, the remaining I-League matches were postponed and the Indian Super League final was played behind closed doors.[36]

The championships of all Central Asian Football Association members were suspended.[citation needed]

Europe[edit]

In Europe, various knockout matches in the Champions League and Europa League were played behind closed doors in February and March 2020.[37][38] On March 12, 2020, UEFA announced that the elite qualification round of the men and women's under-17 and under-19 youth international tournaments had been postponed.[39] The following day, UEFA postponed all fixtures for the following week in the Champions League, Europa League and Youth League.[40]

Many of the domestic European leagues were impacted in February and March 2020. After various fixtures were rescheduled or played behind closed doors, Serie A was postponed on March 9, 2020.[41] On March 12, La Liga and the Segunda División were suspended for at least two weeks after a Real Madrid basketball player tested positive for the virus, which resulted in Real Madrid's footballers being put in quarantine.[42] The Eredivisie was also suspended,[43] while Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga followed suit shortly afterwards.[1][44][45]

On March 10, the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal, due to be played the next day, was postponed after a number of Arsenal players made close contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who had tested positive for coronavirus, when the two teams had met in the Europa League 13 days earlier.[46] Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the disease, prompting the team's Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion for that weekend to also be postponed.[47] As of March 13, there has been at least one recorded case of the disease affecting a player in the aforementioned leagues; Serie A footballers Daniele Rugani and Manolo Gabbiadini, 2. Bundesliga footballer Timo Hübers, and Premier League footballer Callum Hudson-Odoi.[48][49] Rugani tested positive while being asymptomatic.[50] On March 13, English elite football was suspended until early April, including the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship.[51]

By 19 March, the Belarusian Premier League was the only active top flight in all 55 UEFA member associations.[52]

Concerns were raised regarding UEFA Euro 2020, being held in twelve host cities across Europe, and the potential impact of the coronavirus on players, staff and tournament visitors.[53] UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said the organisation was confident that the situation could be dealt with, while general secretary Theodore Theodoridis stated that UEFA was maintaining contact with the World Health Organization and national governments regarding the coronavirus.[54] UEFA announced that a videoconference would be held on March 17 with representatives of its 55 member associations, along with a FIFPro representative and the boards of the European Club Association and European Leagues, to discuss the response to the outbreak for domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020.[55] The tournament was moved by 12 months.[56]

North America[edit]

On March 12, 2020, the CONCACAF Champions League was suspended with immediate effect.[57] The same day, Major League Soccer was suspended for 30 days.[58] Also on March 12, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), whose season was not scheduled to start until April 18, canceled its preseason matches,[59] and also imposed a moratorium on team training that initially ran through March 22.[60] On March 19, Major League Soccer's suspension was extended to a target return date of May 10.[61]

The day after MLS was initially postponed, all CONCACAF competitions scheduled for the next month were suspended. Match week 10 of Mexican Liga MX was played but as of March 15, league executives have now taken the decision to postpone Liga MX activity until further notice.[62]

The 2019–20 Major Arena Soccer League season was terminated early, effective March 12.[63]

The USL Championship suspended the 2020 season on March 12, for at least 30 days.[64]

The West Indies cricket championship was suspended due to the pandemic and Barbados was declared the champion on March 24.[65]

Oceania[edit]

On March 9, 2020, the Oceania Football Confederation announced that all tournaments were postponed until May 2020.[66]

South America[edit]

On March 12, 2020, FIFA announced that the first two rounds of the South American qualification for the 2022 World Cup due to take place in March 2020 were postponed to later dates.[67] The same day, CONMEBOL announced that the Copa Libertadores would be temporarily suspended.[68]

On March 15 all top-tier football in Brazil was suspended until April.[69]

On 17 March CONMEBOL announced that the 2020 edition of Copa América was postponed to 2021.[70]

Athletics[edit]

The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships were scheduled to be held from 13 to 15 March in Nanjing, China, but were postponed until March 2021.[71]

The 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships was scheduled to be held on 29 March in Gdynia, Poland, but was postponed until October 2020.[72]

The first three events of the 2020 Diamond League, scheduled to be held in Qatar in April, followed by two events in China in May, were postponed until later in the year.[73]

The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for 20 April, was postponed until 14 September.[74] The 2020 London Marathon, scheduled to take place on 26 April, was postponed until 4 October.[75] The 2020 Rome Marathon was cancelled.[76]

The 2020 Two Oceans Marathon, scheduled for 8-11 April has been cancelled.[77]

The 2020 Three Peaks Race originally scheduled for April 25 has been postponed to September 26.[78]

Australian rules football[edit]

At the conclusion of its first round of games, the 2020 AFL season was suspended until May 31 at the earliest,[79] while the Finals series of the 2020 AFL Women's season was cancelled after its semi-finals were played with no premiership awarded.[citation needed]

Badminton[edit]

All scheduled Badminton World Federation tournaments were suspended until April 12 due to coronavirus concerns.[80] The affected tournaments are Swiss Open, India Open, Orléans Masters, Malaysia Open, and Singapore Open. Previously the body had suspended the German Open[81] and pushed the Lingshui China Masters from February to May 2020.[82] The 2020 Thomas & Uber Cup had also been postponed to 15–23 August.[citation needed]

Baseball[edit]

International[edit]

The qualifying round of the World Baseball Softball Confederation-sanctioned 2021 World Baseball Classic, scheduled in Tucson, Arizona, United States in March 2020 was postponed on March 12, 2020.[83]

Asia[edit]

Japan[edit]

On February 26, 2020, Nippon Professional Baseball announced that spring training would continue without fans in attendance.[84] On March 9, the league announced that the start of its 2020 season would be postponed until April.[85][86]

On March 4, 2020, the Japan High School Baseball Federation announced that the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament, scheduled to begin on March 19, would take place without fans in attendance.[87] However, on March 11, the governing body of high school baseball in Japan declared that the tournament had been cancelled.[88][89] The cancellation of the 2020 tournament marked the first time the contest had been cancelled since its establishment in 1924. The tournaments were not formally scheduled between 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.[90][91]

South Korea[edit]

Opening Day of the 2020 KBO League season was originally scheduled for March 28, 2020.[92] The Korea Baseball Organization announced in March that all ten exhibition games would be cancelled, and the start of the regular season would be delayed until April.[93][94]

North America[edit]

On March 12, 2020, Major League Baseball suspended all spring training activities. Opening Day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, scheduled for March 26, was postponed, as was the start of the regular season for Minor League Baseball, which was to begin on April 9.[95][96]

Also on March 12, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced the suspension of its baseball season and cancellation of the 2020 College World Series.[97]

Basketball[edit]

Africa[edit]

The launch of the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League set for March 2020 was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. No new date has been announced.[98]

Asia[edit]

The 2019–20 Chinese Basketball Association season was suspended on 1 February 2020.[99]

On 14 February, FIBA ordered two qualifying games for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, Philippines vs Thailand in Quezon City, and Japan vs. China in Chiba to be postponed to a later date. This brought the postponed games to three, after FIBA earlier ordered the China vs. Malaysia game in Foshan to be postponed.[100] Later that week, the Guam vs. Hong Kong game in Hagåtña was also postponed.[101]

The Korean Basketball League canceled its 2019–20 season on 24 March, after playing its last game on 29 February. This comes as the Women's Korean Basketball League canceled its season a week before.[102]

On 4 March, FIBA announced the cancellation of the 2019 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship in Beirut and the 2019 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship for Women in Canberra. It also postponed the 3x3 Olympic qualification tournament in Bangalore, and rescheduled the 2020 FIBA Asia 3x3 Cups in Changsha and the 2020 FIBA 3x3 Under-17 Asian Cup in Cyberjaya.[103]

ASEAN Basketball League[edit]

Several fixtures of the ASEAN Basketball League 2019–20 season scheduled on February onwards were rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In early March 2020, four participating teams, Alab Pilipinas, Hong Kong Eastern, Macau Black Bears and Formosa Dreamers has released statements urging the suspension of the whole season due to logistical issues posed by COVID-19-related travel measures in Southeast Asia, mainland China and Taiwan.[104] On March 13, 2020, the league's 2019–20 season was postponed indefinitely.[105]

Philippines[edit]

The 2020 season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the PBA D-League was suspended indefinitely on March 10, 2020. The inaugural of the PBA's 3x3 tournament was also likewise delayed.[5] The PBA management also imposed a two-week prohibition on team "practices, scrimmages and other related activities" which took effect on March 14, 2020.[105]

Europe[edit]

Jordi Bertomeu, CEO of the Euroleague, suspended the games from 14 March to 11 April. The Euroleague previously suspended the Eurocup. FIBA also suspended the Basketball Champions League and the FIBA Europe Cup starting on 14 March. Lithuania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Ukraine canceled outright their respective first division leagues, naming the teams in the top of the standings as champions. Top flight divisions in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, Greece, Poland, Cyprus and Czech Republic suspended its games as of 14 March. The Adriatic League and the VTB United League suspended its competitions until April.[106] The government of Turkey suspended the Basketball Super League on 19 March, the last major European league to do so.[107]

North America[edit]

On March 11, 2020, the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus prior to tip-off for a scheduled game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.[108] Commissioner Adam Silver stated the next day that this suspension "will be most likely at least 30 days, and we don't know enough to be more specific than that".[109]

On March 12, all Division I conferences in NCAA college basketball cancelled their respective tournaments in-progress. The Ivy League had already called off its tournament prior to the decision, while some conferences, as well as the NCAA for its men's and women's tournaments, had previously announced that they would conduct their games behind closed doors.[110][111][112] The NCAA subsequently cancelled its tournaments outright.[113][114]

The Baloncesto Superior Nacional of Puerto Rico suspended its season on 14 March.[107]

The National Basketball League of Canada suspended the remainder of the 2019-20 season on March 12.[115]

Oceania[edit]

In Australia's National Basketball League, the Sydney Kings announced 17 March that they would pull out of the 2020 NBL Finals after three games, due to "a critical mass of relevant and actual concerns related to player welfare and the club's social responsibility". The NBL had been considering playing Game 4 of the series on 18 March instead of 20 March as originally scheduled to accelerate its completion.[116][117][116] The decision effectively forfeited the series to the Perth Wildcats—who were leading the best-of-five series 2-1 after Game 3, and were officially announced as NBL champions on 18 March.[118] The series was played behind closed doors beginning with Game 2, and the NBL stated that it would be suspended immediately if any player was diagnosed.[119]

Biathlon[edit]

The 2019–20 Biathlon World Cup ended a week and a day earlier than previously scheduled. The World Cup final in Norway was cancelled as was the last day of the penultimate World Cup in Finland.[120]

Bodybuilding[edit]

Several competitive events in international competitive bodybuilding on the amateur and professional levels have seen limitations, postponements, or even cancellations due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.[citation needed]

Due to these concerns the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio cancelled its Fitness Expo and, under orders from the state government, held the bodybuilding and physique competitions, including the Arnold Classic, without spectators with exceptions for parents and guardians of minors participating in the competitions.[121] Similar Arnold Sports Festivals planned to be held in Africa, Australia, and South America were postponed for later in the year.[122]

On March 16, 2020, Jim Manion, president of the IFBB Professional League and the National Physique Committee announced that competitions planned through to May 10, 2020 in the United States would be postponed for later in the year or cancelled until the 2021 season.[123]

Bowls[edit]

The 2020 World Outdoor Bowls Championship scheduled to be held on the Gold Coast from 23 May to 7 June 2020,[124][125] has been postponed until further notice.[126]

Castells[edit]

In response to the shutdown of extracurricular activities for children in Catalonia, the Coordinadora de Colles Castelleres de Catalunya (CCCC), the governing body for castells (Catalan human towers), issued a statement on March 10, 2020, recommending the suspension of all castells practices and performances.[127] Subsequently, the lockdown imposed throughout Spain shut down all castells activities throughout Catalonia as of March 15. [128] As of March 25, 2020, there was no word about the potential impact of the pandemic on the biennial Tarragona Castells Contest, scheduled for October 3 and 4, 2020.[129]

Chess[edit]

The 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled to take place in Moscow, Russia from 5–17 August 2020 was postponed and rescheduled for the summer of 2021.[130][131]

The FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020, held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was suspended at the mid-point of the tournament on 26 March. FIDE decided to postpone the second half of the tournament after Russia announced it would be interrupting air traffic with other countries starting on 27 March.[132]

Cricket[edit]

The coronavirus pandemic impacted on several international cricket fixtures and tournaments. The 2020 ACA Africa T20 Cup Finals was scheduled to take place in Kenya in March 2020, before it was postponed in line with the Kenyan government's 30-day ban on international gatherings.[133][134] A women's quadrangular series was scheduled to take place in Thailand in April 2020,[135] but was cancelled a month before it was due to start.[136] The 2020 Malaysia Cricket World Cup Challenge League A, scheduled to take place in March 2020, was postponed,[137] along with two T20I matches between a World XI and Asia XI side.[138]

On March 11, 2020, English teams Worcestershire and Surrey both cancelled their pre-season warm-up tours to the United Arab Emirates.[139] The following day, Australia Women's tour to South Africa in March 2020 became the first major international series not to go ahead as planned due to coronavirus.[140] On March 13, 2020, the 2020 United States Tri-Nation Series was postponed due to the pandemic and travel restrictions to the United States.[141][142] On March 12, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that all remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League's ongoing fifth season being played in Karachi (where the majority of cases in Pakistan had been concentrated) would be closed to spectators.[143][144] The 2020 Everest Premier League was also postponed on 12 March.[145]

On March 13, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that the start of 2020 Indian Premier League will be postponed from March 29 to April 15.[146] Later that day, it cancelled the ODI matches between India and South Africa on March 15 and 18, which were originally announced to be played without spectators.[147] On the same day, the two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and England, scheduled to be played in March 2020, was also postponed.[148] The remaining seven matches of the 2020 Road Safety World Series were rescheduled to a later date.[149] It was earlier decided that the remaining seven matches of the tournament would be played behind the closed doors in DY Patil Stadium.[150]

On 14 March 2020, the remaining two One Day International (ODI) matches of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy along with the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series between Australia and New Zealand were cancelled due to new border restrictions imposed by the New Zealand government.[151] The first ODI match of the series had been played on 13 March behind closed doors in Sydney.[152] The following day, Cricket Australia confirmed that the final round of matches in the 2019–20 Sheffield Shield season had been cancelled, with New South Wales being named as the winners of the tournament.[153] New Zealand Cricket cancelled the final two rounds of matches in the 2019–20 Plunket Shield season,[154] with Wellington being named the winners of the tournament.[155]

On 16 March 2020, the remaining play-offs in the 2020 Pakistan Super League were postponed due to a huge spike in the number of coronavirus cases around the country.[156] The Bangladesh tour of Pakistan for a single ODI and a Test match was also postponed.[157]

Curling[edit]

The curling season typically ends in May but was cut short by the pandemic, effectively ending in early March. The World Curling Federation cancelled the last five championships scheduled for the 2019–20 curling season, most importantly the 2020 World Women's Curling Championship, 2020 World Men's Curling Championship, and 2020 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.[158]

Cycling[edit]

Road cycling[edit]

The 2020 UAE Tour was scheduled to run until February 29, but was abandoned following stage five after two support staff tested positive for coronavirus. Of the following nineteen 2020 UCI World Tour races scheduled to take place up to 31 May, only Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Paris–Nice, which also had the final day of racing removed, took place at the intended time, some with the stated hope of taking place at a later date. The postponed races in this block include the 2020 Giro d'Italia and four of the five annual monuments, and many lower category races were also cancelled or postponed.Also races of the 2020 UCI Women's World Tour were cancelled.[citation needed]

On March 15, UCI requested to suspend all UCI-sanctioned events in affected territories until April 3, and the qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to stop retroactively as of March 3.[159] On March 18, the suspension of events were extended at least until the end of April.[160]

BMX[edit]

Race days of the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup were cancelled including 2 to 3 May in Papendal, the Netherlands.[161]

The 2020 UCI BMX World Championships, scheduled to take place in Houston, United States on 26–31 May, are postponed.[162]

Other[edit]

The annual Cape Epic endurance race scheduled from 15 to 22 March was cancelled.[163]

Darts[edit]

The Professional Darts Corporation's European Tour was impacted by the coronavirus; with the 2020 European Darts Grand Prix, the 2020 European Darts Open and the 2020 German Darts Grand Prix all being postponed following restrictions on gatherings implemented by federal governments in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, respectively. The two 2020 Premier League Darts rounds to be held in Rotterdam at the end of March were postponed to September following restrictions on gatherings in the Netherlands; and the round to be held in Newcastle a week earlier was subsequently postponed to October; meaning the Newcastle date would serve as the Premier League's play-off round. The PDC's North American affiliate, the Championship Darts Corporation, cancelled the first weekend of its season in Ontario.[164]

Esports[edit]

Leagues and tournaments[edit]

Impact of the pandemic on esports have primarily affected events and leagues that host competitions in-person at venues with spectators, which have led to cancellations, postponements, and competitions being held behind closed doors—either in the traditional sense, or with competition being conducted entirely over the internet (although latency between players can be a factor).[165][166]

The Overwatch League cancelled homestand events (matches held on-location at home venues akin to traditional sports leagues, as opposed to a centralized studio) in Asia at the onset of the pandemic, and subsequently cancelled all homestands through to April following its spread in North America in mid-March. The league planned a shift to online play, and competition of the 2020 season to resume March 21. The mid-season tournament was also removed from the schedule, and its all-star festivities were moved to the off-season due to not all players having played an equal number of games.[167][168] Due to stay-at-home orders imposed by the state of California (where Blizzard's headquarters and several other teams are located), the resumption of play was postponed (although exhibition matches showcasing the game's newly-unveiled character Echo were still held). Play resumed on March 28, with teams realigned into three regional conferences. Due to various factors, including several teams suspending their operations (including the New York Excelsior, in compliance with a local stay-at-home order, and the London Spitfire and Vancouver Titans re-locating their staff to South Korea), six of the 16 matches scheduled for the weekend were dropped from the schedule.[169][168][170][171]

Riot Games announced that the League of Legends Championship Series would temporarily suspend its season and switch to online play. In addition, the Spring Finals event in Frisco, Texas was called off and moved back to Riot's Los Angeles studio. Electronic Arts has suspended all competitive gaming that cannot be produced remotely.[168][172]

Crossover with traditional sports[edit]

Sportcal suggested that the esports industry had an opportunity to attract mainstream sports fans as a "viable alternative" to traditional sporting events.[173] Roundhill Investments CEO Will Hershey predicted that games that are straightforward for casual viewers to understand (such as sports games) could see particular interest among this new audience.[166]

With the suspension of nearly all sporting events, some professional athletes began to increase their involvement in video game streaming as a means to engage with fans.[166] Some teams have taken advantage of sports games in a similar manner, such as the Phoenix Suns holding NBA 2K20 streams with guest players, between the teams the Suns were scheduled to play that night if the season had continued.[174][175] This culminated with a game actually being commentated by the team's radio broadcasters on team flagship KMVP-FM.[175]

Esports organisations have also invited professional athletes to compete in specific competitions (often alongside, or in competition with professional players); FaZe Clan organized a charity Call of Duty: Warzone pro-am entitled "Fight 2 Fund" in support of coronavirus-related charities, where professional players were partnered with celebrity participants (such as Ben Simmons, Chad Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster),[166] and several sim racing competitions similarly invited professional race drivers.[176][177] In turn, both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR announced partnerships with sim racing platform iRacing to hold online invitational events featuring series regulars, with the latter employing television broadcasts by NASCAR television partner Fox Sports (styled after and still featuring personalities associated with their traditional broadcasts, such as lead commentator Mike Joy).[178][179][179]

Field hockey[edit]

Many field hockey leagues in Europe have been suspended, including in Spain,[180] England,[181] Germany,[182] and the Netherlands.[183]

The 2019–20 Euro Hockey League Final 8 and 2020 Euro Hockey League Women seasons were suspended on 12 March.[184] The 2020 Men's EuroHockey Club Trophy I and 2020 Men's EuroHockey Club Trophy II tournaments were cancelled.[185]

In Asia, the 2020 Men's Hockey Junior Asia Cup, 2020 Women's Asian Champions Trophy, and 2020 Women's Hockey Junior Asia Cup were postponed.[186][187] The 2020 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup has been postponed to 24 September.[188]

Futsal[edit]

The 2020 AFC Futsal Championship in Ashgabat had been postponed following consultation with all relevant stakeholders. On 9 March 2020, FIFA and AFC announced that the tournament were postponed to 5–16 August 2020.

Golf[edit]

The PGA Tour announced on March 12, 2020 that The Players Championship, the Valspar Championship, WGC Match Play, and the Valero Texas Open were to continue without fan attendance, but cancelled those events the next day.[189][190]

Three of the four major championships have been affected. The Masters Tournament (scheduled for April 9–12) was postponed on March 13.[191][192] The 2020 PGA Championship tournament (scheduled for May 11–17) and the 2020 U.S. Open (scheduled for June 18–21) were also later postponed.[193][194]

On March 13, 2020, the LPGA Tour postponed its Founders Cup, Kia Classic, and ANA Inspiration (which will now be played in 10–13 September).[195]

In the 2020 Japan LPGA Tour, five tournaments were cancelled from March to April.[196]

Greyhound racing[edit]

The 2020 English Greyhound Derby was postponed on 16 March with no replacement dates set at present.[197] The Arena Racing Company tracks announced a behind closed doors policy from 24 March [198] and racing in Ireland continues with a behind closed doors policy.[199]

Gridiron football[edit]

CFL[edit]

On March 12, the Canadian Football League announced the cancellation or modification of several pre-season events in response to the pandemic. Several scouting combines across Canada and the United States were cancelled, while other events such as rules committee meetings will now be held remotely. The League continues to plan to hold both its International and National Drafts in April.[200]

NFL[edit]

The National Football League has been in its off-season since February 2, 2020, but the 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from April 23–25, 2020. On March 12, various NFL teams began to suspend travel by their coaches and player scouts, while the league itself had advised its non-critical staff to work from home. On March 13, 2020, the NFL announced that it had temporarily prohibited draft-eligible players from travelling to meet team personnel, and vice versa.[201]

On March 16, the NFL announced that it had cancelled public festivities associated with the draft; the draft itself will still be held, but the league stated that it was exploring "innovative options for how the process will be conducted".[202][203]

Labor negotiations with the National Football League Players Association continued through the pandemic, resulting in ratification of a new, ten-year collective bargaining agreement in March 2020.

XFL[edit]

On March 12, the XFL announced the premature termination of the 2020 season. All players will still be paid their base pay and benefits for the 2020 regular season. The XFL, which is the revival of a league that played only one season in 2001, stated that they were committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years.[204]

Gymnastics[edit]

Multiple international artistic gymnastics competitions, many of which were Olympic qualifying events, were either canceled or postponed. On March 13, after already having completed qualifications, the Baku World Cup canceled its event finals.[205] The Stuttgart, Birmingham, and Tokyo World Cups (scheduled to take place between March 21 – April 5) were all canceled.[206][207][208] The European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships (scheduled to take place April 30 – May 3) and the European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships (scheduled to take place May 27–31) were both canceled.[209] The Pacific Rim Championships (scheduled to take place April 17–19) was postponed until 2021.[210]

Handball[edit]

The 25-29 March, 2020 European Women's Handball Championship qualification matches in Rotterdam, the Netherlands were cancelled.[211]

Horse racing[edit]

In the early stages of the outbreak, most horse racing events remained scheduled as normal, but with restricted attendance at racecourses. This included Hong Kong, France,[212] Japan,[213] United Arab Emirates,[214] United States, Australia,[215] Ireland,[216] United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The Macau Jockey Club suspended racing events from 31 January to 15 February and resumed racing from 22 February. The Korea Racing Authority suspended horse racing from 8 March. Sunland Park Racetrack in the United States canceled its race meeting from 16 March, which included the Sunland Derby, part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby.[217] Many tracks in North America followed suit over the following weeks, although some remained open depending on state-by-state decisions. In Britain, although the Cheltenham Festival proceeded as normal in mid-March,[218] the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April was cancelled.[219] By mid-March Ireland had become the only major horse racing country in Europe where the sport continued, albeit strictly regulated and behind closed doors.[220] Ireland finally closed down racing on 25 March until at least 19 April.[221]

Churchill Downs announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby, normally the first leg of the American Triple Crown, would be delayed to September 5;[222][223] this also cascaded to the Preakness Stakes, with the Maryland Jockey Club also delaying their second leg race to a date to be determined, likely in September as well.[224] The New York Racing Association has not announced plans to reschedule the third leg, the Belmont Stakes.

On 22 March, it was announced that the Dubai World Cup, due to celebrate its 25th anniversary running on 28 March, had been cancelled.[225]

Some horsemans are limited from travelling to other racecouses or horse racing facilities. Hong Kong-based jockey Keith Yeung felt unwell on 22 March night, but his test for COVID-19 PCR was negative.[226] On 26 March, it was announced that American-based jockey Javier Castellano had tested positive.[227]

Cancelled race meetings[228]
  • Macau Jockey Club – 31 January to 15 February, 28 March to 11 April[229]
  • Korea Racing Authority – from 8 March
  • Selangor Turf Club, Malaysia – from 14 March
  • Sunland Park Racetrack, New Mexico – March meeting
  • Keeneland, Kentucky – April meeting. Kentucky Downs and Ellis Parks closed down in mid-March, while Turfway Park curtailed its meeting from 29 March to 26 March. Churchill Downs deferred the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, normally scheduled for early May, to September
  • Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto – harness racing from March 14 for at least two weeks. Status of Thoroughbred meeting, scheduled to begin in April, is to be determined
  • Aqueduct Racetrack, New York – indefinitely from 19 March after a backstretch worker tested positive
  • Laurel Park, Maryland – indefinitely from 20 March
  • Fair Grounds, Louisiana – cancelled last week of its winter meeting, 22 March to 29 March
  • Santa Anita Park, California - indefinitely from 27 March
  • All United Kingdom racecourses – 18 March to 30 April (excluding Downpatrick and Down Royal in Northern Ireland, which come under Irish racing rules)
  • All Ireland racecourses – 25 March to 19 April[221]
  • All German racecourses – 17 March to 18 April[230]
  • All French racecourses France Galop and LeTrot – 17 March to 15 April
  • All United Arab Emirates race meetings – Including Dubai World Cup Night and four April meetings.
  • All New Zealand racecourses - From 24 March
  • All South African racecourses - 27 March to 16 April[231]
Remaining racing meetings

Ice hockey[edit]

International[edit]

The IIHF Women's World Championship, IIHF World Championship Division IV and Women's Ice Hockey World Championships were all cancelled by the International Ice Hockey Federation due to the coronavirus.[232][233] The federation also cancelled the 2020 event of one of its two official junior world championship tournaments, the IIHF World U18 Championship.[234] On March 21, IIHF publicly announced that the senior men's world championships had also been cancelled.[235]

Cancelled tournaments:

Europe[edit]

As a result of the German government's ban on large events, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga announced on March 10 that it would cancel the remainder of its season, marking the first time in the league's history a champion would not be crowned. The top four teams at the time of the cancellation — EHC Red Bull München, Adler Mannheim, Straubing Tigers, and Eisbaren Berlin — would advance to the Champions Hockey League.[236]

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association suspended all remaining hockey, the playoffs and qualification rounds, in the Swedish elite leagues on March 15; no awarding of the Le Mat Trophy for the 2019/20 season nor transference of teams from the leagues' qualification plays for the 2020/21 season will happen as a result.[237]

Cancelled or ended leagues:

North America[edit]

In early March 2020, the National Hockey League suspended media access to the locker rooms, saying that only official personnel would be allowed in after the games to limit person-to-person contact. On March 12, the NHL, American Hockey League, the leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League), the USHL, and ECHL announced that their 2019–20 seasons would be indefinitely suspended.[238][239][240][241]

The ECHL announced on March 14 that the remainder of the season would be scrapped.[242] The leagues of the CHL announced on March 18 that they would scrap the remainder of their regular seasons.[243] On March 23, the CHL confirmed that all playoffs and the 2020 Memorial Cup were cancelled.[244]

Hockey Canada, the governing body for amateur hockey in the country, cancelled the remainder of its season on March 13. This included national championships such as the Telus Cup and Esso Cup, as well as all regional and provincial playoffs. It also included the Canadian Junior Hockey League playoffs and the 2020 Centennial Cup.[245][246]

Lacrosse[edit]

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) temporarily suspended the 2020 season on March 12.[247]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Due to 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, ONE Championship will host all events closed door at least until May 29, 2020.[248]

Bellator MMA 241 was scheduled to be a closed-door event,[249] but was cancelled the day of the fight.[250]

Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW) cancelled KSW 53 in Łódź, Poland for March 21, 2020 event.[251]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosted its event UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira behind closed doors in Brasília, Brazil.[252]

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris, UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik, and UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards were postponed to future dates.[253]

Motorsport[edit]

Australian Supercars[edit]

The Supercars Championship had planned to hold an event, the Melbourne 400 supporting the Australian Grand Prix. The event was cancelled the same time the Grand Prix was also cancelled. The Championship is currently seeking to hold a replacement event later in the year.[254] The Supercars' Tasmania Super400 at Symmons Plains Raceway (originally scheduled for 4–5 April), the Auckland Super400 at Hampton Downs (25–26 April), and the Perth SuperNight at Wanneroo Raceway (16–17 May) rounds were also postponed beyond June.[255] The Supercars' support series like the Boost Mobile Super Trucks were also affected, though the trucks intend to commit to their support schedule once new dates are finalised.[256]

Supercars formed the All Stars Eseries to allow its drivers to compete against each other.[257]

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters[edit]

The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series postponed the start of its championship until July 2020.[258]

Formula One[edit]

The early Formula One season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.[259] Prior to the start of the season, Ferrari and AlphaTauri expressed concern about the spread of the virus and its effect on the championship. Both teams are based in Italy, which has suffered one of the worst outbreaks of the virus outside China,[260][261] and so both Ferrari and AlphaTauri were therefore concerned over the ability of their staff to leave a quarantine zone that was established in northern Italy. Ross Brawn, the managing director of the sport, announced that Grands Prix would not go ahead if a team were blocked from entering a host nation, but that events could go ahead if a team voluntarily chose not to enter a host nation.[262] The Australian and Monaco Grands Prix were cancelled.[263][264] The cancellation of the Monaco Grand Prix meant that 2020 would mark the first time since 1954 that the race has not been held. The Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Vietnam Grands Prix were postponed.[264][265][266] The summer break shut down period—which includes mandatory factory closures as a cost-cutting measure—was also brought forward from August to March and April and was extended to three weeks, allowing for postponed races to be held in August.[267]

The sport had planned to overhaul its technical regulations for the 2021 championship in one of the largest changes in its seventy-year history. The pandemic prompted these changes to be postponed until 2022, with teams required to enter their 2020 cars in the 2021 championship to minimise the financial stress placed on the teams.[268]

Recently,[when?] some Formula One drivers have entered a virtual version of the Australian Grand Prix.[269] and the Bahrain Grand Prix [270] [271] The races are hosted by Jean-Éric Vergne's Veloce Esports and F!. The online races are contested by current and former F1 drivers, like Lando Norris, Nicholas Latifi, Stoffel Vandoorne, Esteban Gutiérrez, Nico Hülkenberg, Johnny Herbert and Martin Brundle, as well as celebrities and other sportsmen.

Formula 2 and Formula 3[edit]

The Bahrain, Zandvoort and Barcelona rounds of the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 Championships—a series of races for junior drivers that run in support of Formula 1 events—were postponed when the Bahrain, Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix were postponed.[272][273] The Monaco Formula 2 round was cancelled when the Monaco Grand Prix was cancelled and the Baku round postponed when the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was postponed;[273][274] Formula 3 had not been scheduled to race in Monaco or Azerbaijan.

Formula E[edit]

The Formula E championship for electric cars initially responded to the pandemic by postponing the Rome and Sanya ePrix. Planned races in Paris, Jakarta and Seoul were also postponed, prompting organisers to postpone the entire season by two months.[275][276][277]

GT World Challenge Europe[edit]

The 3 Hours of Monza round of the 2020 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, scheduled for 19 April, was cancelled.[278]

IndyCar[edit]

The IndyCar Series initially announced on March 12 that it would hold the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg — the opening race of the 2020 season — behind closed doors.[279] On March 13, the series announced that it would cancel all races through at least the end of April, including St. Petersburg, Alabama, Long Beach, and Austin. IndyCar intended to begin the season with the traditional "Month of May" races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including the road course race, and the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on its traditional Memorial Day weekend scheduling.[280]

On March 26, IndyCar announced that it would tentatively delay the beginning of the season to the end of May (beginning with the Detroit Grand Prix on May 30 and 31) by postponing the two Indianapolis races to later in the season. The GMR Grand Prix was moved to July 4, and the Indianapolis 500 to August 23—marking the first time in history that it has not been held in May. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was reinstated as the planned season finale, with a date to be determined.[281]

IndyCar eventually formed the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, with its drivers racing against one another on the iRacing racing simulation game.[282]

MotoGP[edit]

The MotoGP World Championship cancelled the opening round of the 2020 championship in Qatar. The Moto2 and Moto3 support categories raced in the country. Planned events in the United States, Argentina and Thailand were also postponed.[283]

NASCAR[edit]

Prior to the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, part of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR announced that no fans would be permitted to attend the race; this event, along with the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, were later postponed.[284] On March 16, NASCAR announced that all race events through May 3 were postponed, however they still intend to run all 36 races for the season.[285]

NASCAR subsequently began to organize invitational eSports events on iRacing, featuring current and past NASCAR drivers, officially known as the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. Fox Sports also picked up broadcasts of these events to provide filler content for Fox Sports 1.[286]

World Endurance Championship[edit]

The 1000 Miles of Sebring race was cancelled.[287] The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and the 24 Hours of Le Mans were both postponed.[288][289]

World Rally Championship[edit]

The 2020 running of Rally Argentina, Rally Italia Sardegna and Rally Portugal were postponed.[290][291] The 2020 Rally Mexico was shortened to allow competitors time to pack their equipment up and return to their headquarters in Europe before a series of travel bans were implemented.[292] The World Rally Championship-2, World Rally Championship-3 and Junior World Rally Championship support categories were also affected by the postponements.

World Rallycross Championship[edit]

The opening rounds of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship in Barcelona and Portugal were postponed.[293][294]

World Touring Car Cup[edit]

The opening rounds of the 2020 World Touring Car Cup in Hungary and Germany were cancelled.[295][296][297] The four races that would have been held across the two rounds were rescheduled for other rounds.

Motorcycle road racing[edit]

The 2020 Isle of Man TT was cancelled on 16 March.[298]

The 2020 North West 200 event was postponed.[299]

The 2020 Scottish Six Days Trial event was cancelled.[300][301]

British national-level championships[edit]

All British motorsport, including the British Touring Car Championship,[302] the British GT Championship,[303] and the Britcar Endurance and Trophy Championships.[304] were postoned until July 2020.[305]

Monster trucks[edit]

Monster Jam events in multiple localities were affected. Shows in Austin, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Columbia, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Detroit, Michigan, and Grand Rapids, Michigan were postponed; and a show in Albuquerque, New Mexico was cancelled.[306]

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live postponed a show in Louisville, Kentucky.[307]

Monster X Tour postponed it's World Finals event in Honolulu, Hawaii.[308]

On March 27, 2020, World Finals XXI, scheduled to take place May 2–3, 2020, was cancelled.[309]

Radio-controlled racing[edit]

Despite taking place in the second half of the year, all 4 blocks (representing Asia (FEMCA), North America (ROAR), Europe (EFRA) and the rest of the world (FAMAR)) and the IFMAR committee have agreed to postpone all remaining IFMAR World Championships (1:10 Electric Touring Car in Heemstede, Netherlands); 1:8 IC Off-Road in Cianorte, Brasil and 1:10 IC Touring Car in Brisbane, Australia) to an alternative date, possibly early 2021.[310][311] This was the first postponement since 2001 when the events of the September 11 attacks caused the 1:10 Electric Off-Road Worlds to be moved to May the following year.

Poker[edit]

As of March 18, most casinos and other gaming venues worldwide have been closed indefinitely and many upcoming live poker tournaments have been either postponed, cancelled or (in jurisdictions where currently permitted) moved to an online platform. Tournaments originally scheduled to be played live and now being played online include the 2020 Irish Poker Open.

The pandemic has resulted in a massive increase in online poker traffic. It is believed to have directed both professional and recreational players who normally prefer live poker to online platforms due the indefinite closure of most casinos and other live gaming venues worldwide, with even many unlicensed venues shutting down. In addition, the sudden dearth of live entertainment options due to the widespread disruption of the sports and entertainment schedules around the world is believed to have resulted in more than the usual number of casual players turning to online poker as an alternative. Many operators reported traffic of double or more the previous volume, depending on the time of day.

Professional wrestling[edit]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling[edit]

In accordance with recommendations from the Japanese Ministry of Health, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) decided to cancel all scheduled shows from March 1 through March 15.[312] On March 10, NJPW announced that they were cancelling all shows through March 22, which meant that they either cancelled or postponed the 2020 New Japan Cup as well.[313] The Stardom promotion, sister company of NJPW also owned by Bushiroad, also made adjustments to their scheduled, cancelling shows from February 19 to March 14. Their March 8 show in Korakuen Hall was held without any spectators in attendance, instead streaming live on their YouTube channel.[314]

WWE[edit]

American promotion WWE began to move the broadcasts of its weekly programs, including SmackDown and Raw (which usually broadcast from arenas), and NXT (which is usually filmed at Full Sail University; the school has suspended group activities through April)[315] to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, beginning with SmackDown on March 13, with no audience and only essential staff in attendance. The first SmackDown and Raw broadcasts under this arrangement included fewer live matches than usual episodes, with time filled by encores of matches from recent WWE pay-per-view events (Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble respectively).[316][317][318] The promotion also postponed some of its upcoming house shows.[319]

On March 16, the NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay event and 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony were postponed to unannounced dates.[320]

WrestleMania 36 was originally scheduled to be held at Tampa, Florida's Raymond James Stadium. On March 16, WWE announced that it would also be produced from the Performance Center, as well as a second, unannounced venue, and air across two nights (April 4 and 5).[321][322][323] It was then reported by PWInsider on March 21 that WWE would be filming all remaining episodes of Raw and SmackDown preceding WrestleMania, as well as the event itself—in advance over the following days, rather than air them live.[324]

All Elite Wrestling[edit]

On March 12, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) announced the relocation of its two remaining live broadcasts of Dynamite for the month of March, scheduled for Rochester, New York and Newark, New Jersey respectively, to an alternative location with no audience. AEW stated that it had re-booked the two cities for future episodes in July. Their Blood and Guts show was also postponed.[319][325] AEW has since originated programming from TIAA Bank Field's Daily's Place amphitheater in Jacksonville, Florida.[326]

Impact Wrestling[edit]

On March 16, Impact Wrestling announced that Lockdown scheduled for March 28 in Windsor, Ontario, and March Breakdown scheduled for March 29 in Belleville, Michigan have been postponed. On March 17, Impact Wrestling announced that TNA: There's No Place Like Home has been cancelled along with the other events associated with WrestleCon. On March 24, it was announced that Against All Odds scheduled for April 17 in Toronto, Rebellion scheduled for April 19 in Columbus, and the TV tapings schedule for April 24 and 25 were cancelled.[327]

Ring of Honor[edit]

On March 12, Ring of Honor announced the cancellations of its ROH 18th Anniversary Show scheduled for March 13 and its Past vs. Present event scheduled for March 14 at Sam's Town Live in Las Vegas.[328] On March 17, Ring of Honor announced the cancellation of all events through May 31.[329]

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre[edit]

The Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre company announced that they were cancelling their shows in Guadalajara, Jalisco to comply with the statewide recommendations. The promotion cancelled both their Tuesday Martes de Glamour shows and their Sunday Domingos Tapatíos shows for the foreseeable future.[330]

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide[edit]

On March 13, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide announced that they were cancelling their next major show, the 2020 Rey de Reyes ("King of Kings") show originally scheduled for March 21 in Medida, Yucatán. They announced that they would announce a future date for the event.[331]

National Wrestling Alliance[edit]

On March 16, National Wrestling Alliance announced the suspension of its operations until June, which included the 2020 Crockett Cup on April 19 and NWA Power tapings on April 20 and April 21. NWA also cancelled an airing of Super Powerrr, scheduled for March 17, in order to not create confusion in the marketplace.[332]

Rodeo[edit]

The 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was cancelled after a festival attendee was diagnosed positive with the virus.[333]

Rowing[edit]

Four Olympic qualification regattas were cancelled, including the final qualification event scheduled to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland, from 17 to 19 May. All three events of the 2020 World Rowing Cup were also cancelled.[334]

The Boat Race 2020, due to take place on the River Thames in London on 29 March, was cancelled.[335]

Rugby league[edit]

The Australian/New Zealand National Rugby League was scheduled to continue with no spectators permitted in the stadiums however this was abandoned after round two.

For the first time in the competition's history, the entire season was suspended indefinitely on 23 March 2020,[336] and if the season cannot be restarted by 1 September, it will be abandoned with no premiership awarded.[337]

Super League and the Rugby Football League suspended the season until 3 April as a result of the spread of coronavirus. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/51911290[338]

Rugby union[edit]

At the end of February and start of March, the 2020 Six Nations Championship saw all games against Italy postponed due to the worsening situation in that country,[339] with games against the Scotland women's team also cancelled as one of the players tested positive and the team went into isolation.[340] By March 13, the competition had been suspended.[341] On March 12, the Pro14 European rugby competition was suspended,.[342]

In Super Rugby, two fixtures of Japanese team Sunwolves had been moved to Australia from Japan, while Australia announced on 12 March that beginning in the next round of fixtures, all matches held in Australia would be played with no spectators, but otherwise continue as normal. However, on 14 March, New Zealand (who fields five teams in the competition) announced that it will require 14 days self-isolation for any person that arrives in the country from outside of the Pacific Islands, regardless of origin and including New Zealand citizens. League organizer SANZAAR stated that it was evaluating the impact of this restriction,[343][344][345] and ultimately announced later in the day that the season would be suspended following the completion of the weekend's fixtures.[346]

On March 12, Major League Rugby in the United States suspended its third season for 30 days,[347] but on March 18, organizers announced that it will suspend until 2021.[348]

Shooting[edit]

The 2020 ISSF World Cup, which was to commence on March 15 in New Delhi, was postponed.[349] The Olympic Test Event in Tokyo, originally scheduled for April 2020, was also cancelled.[350]

Short track speed skating[edit]

The 2020 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea scheduled 13–15 March were cancelled.[351]

Snooker[edit]

The 2020 Gibraltar Open and its qualifying rounds took place from 11 to 15 March 2020. For the first day, there was a limit of 100 spectators per session. On the remaining days, there were no spectators. A significant number of players withdrew, and there was a shortage of referees, with some early matches played without referees.[352]

The 2020 Tour Championship, originally scheduled for 17 to 22 March 2020, was postponed until 21 July 2020.

The 2020 World Snooker Championship originally scheduled April 18–May 4 has been postponed,[353] tentatively until July or August.

Squash[edit]

29 April - 2 MayMar The 2020 European Squash Individual Championships, scheduled to take place in Einhoven, the Netherlands from 29 April to 2 May are cancelled.[211]

Surfing[edit]

The 2020 World Surf League, which was due to start in Australia on 26 March, is on hold until at least June. The first event of the season, the Corona Open Gold Coast, was cancelled, while the second and third events, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and Margaret River Pro, were postponed.[354][355]

The 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, scheduled to be held from 9 to 17 May in El Salvador, will now take place from 6 to 14 June in the same location.[356]

Swimming[edit]

The YMCA Short Course Nationals swim meet is canceled in the United States for the first time since 1947.[357]

Table tennis[edit]

The 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships were scheduled to be held from 22 to 29 March in Busan, South Korea. Provisionally, the event will now be held from 21 to 28 June.[358]

The 2020 ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup was scheduled to be held from 28 February to 1 March in Hainan, China, but was postponed until later in the year.[359]

Five events on the 2020 ITTF World Tour have also been postponed, including the China Open and the Japan Open.[360][361] Four Olympic qualifying events, scheduled to be held in April, were also postponed.[362]

Tennis[edit]

On March 12, the ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour were initially suspended for six weeks due to the escalating health and safety issues caused by the coronavirus. Also, the WTA Tour were initially suspended for eight weeks. However, due to safety concerns, they extended to suspend until at least before June 8.[363]

On 17 March, the 2020 French Open, originally scheduled for May 24–June 7, was postponed to September 20–October 4.[364]

Volleyball[edit]

On March 13, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) decided to postpone the Nations League for men (finals scheduled for Turin, Italy) and women until after the 2020 Summer Olympics caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.[365]

Water polo[edit]

International[edit]

The 2020 Women's Water Polo Olympic Qualification Tournament was scheduled to take place in Trieste, Italy, March 8–15, 2020. On February 28, 2020, International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced that the tournament would be postponed to May 17–24 due to the coronavirus outbreak.[366]

On March 12, 2020, FINA announced that several international water polo tournaments would be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 Men's Water Polo Olympic Qualification Tournament due to take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 22–29, 2020, would be postponed to May 31 – June 7. The 2020 FINA Men's Water Polo World League and 2020 FINA Women's Water Polo World League would be postponed to September–October 2020.[367]

Asia[edit]

2020 Asian Water Polo Championship, the Asian continental qualification for the 2020 Olympic water polo tournament, was scheduled to take place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, February 12–16, 2020.[368] In late January the event was cancelled as the Kazakh Government suspended all flights and visas from China due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in the country.[369] In mid-February Asia Swimming Federation decided to use the final ranking of the 2018 Asian Games to allocate its continental quotas.[370]

Europe[edit]

On February 28, 2020, European Swimming League (LEN) announced that the match of 2019–20 LEN Champions League Day 10 between Ferencváros (Hungary) and Pro Recco (Italy), and the match of 2019–20 LEN Euro Cup semifinal between Egri VK (Hungary) and AN Brescia (Italy) would be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.[371]

On March 11, 2020, LEN announced that all eight matches of 2019–20 LEN Champions League Day 11, the second leg of the 2019–20 LEN Euro League Women quarter-finals, and the 2020 men's U19 European Championships qualification tournaments would be postponed to later dates due to the coronavirus pandemic.[372]

North America[edit]

On March 11, 2020, the USA Water Polo (USAWP) announced that the 2020 ODP Girls National Water Polo Championship would be postponed, and the exhibition matches scheduled to be played on March 19–21, 2020 in California between United States and Spain men's national water polo teams would be cancelled.[373]

On March 16, 2020, USAWP announced that the inaugural USA Water Polo Division III Women's National Championship scheduled for May 8–10, 2020 in Southern California would be rescheduled for May, 2021; and week three of the 2020 National Water Polo League and the 2020 National League Championship/Fisher Cup would be canceled.[374]

Oceania[edit]

On March 16, 2020, the Australian Water Polo (WPA) announced that the 2020 Australian National Water Polo League would be terminated, the 2020 WPA National Championships scheduled to take place in Adelaide, South Australia in May would be cancelled, and the 2020 Open Championships (Country and Masters) scheduled to take place in the Gold Coast, Queensland in May would be postponed.[375]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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