In what has been a whirlwind 48 hours in sports, the coronavirus has stopped March Madness and many other sports in its' tracks. The term 'indefinitely suspended" was widely used Thursday as many tournaments were put on hold with some of them while they were still in progress.
The coronavirus put many local sports on hold for some time.
In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice suspended the girls state tournament, the AA boys regional games that were supposed to occur Thursday night and the upcoming boys state tournament next week. WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan said on Thursday "We felt the prudent thing to do was suspend the tournament at this point."
Following suit on Thursday was the high school basketball tournaments in Ohio and Kentucky. The OHSAA announced that all remaining winter tournaments are immediately postponed due to the growing situation with the coronavirus COVID-19. OHSAA Director Jerry Snodgrass stated "we will use this time to work with appropriate state authorities and health experts to determine our next steps moving forward. We realize this is disappointing for our participants and their fans, but the overall health and safety of everyone involved in our tournaments is our priority."
In Kentucky, the same news stretched across the Commonwealth as they indefinitely suspended the girls Sweet 16 and the upcoming boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. The KHSAA said in a release "as has been stated for the last two weeks, the situation with the COVID-19 or Coronavirus is extremely fluid. As announced earlier today, our intention was to attempt to complete this first tournament with restrictions, however, this does not appear to be a wise option at this time and is not in the best interest of the student-athletes and the thousands of individuals who attend these events. The KHSAA has to make the health and welfare of the citizens of our great Commonwealth the primary factor in our decision-making process in dealing with this issue.
The West Virginia Power has also suspended the start of their season saying on Thursday “In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”
On a national scale, the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships. The NBA suspended their season, MLB will delay opening day at least two weeks and the NHL has suspended play as well.
Ashland head basketball coach Jason Mays talked to WSAZ on Thursday about the developing news. His Tomcats were less than a week away from competing in the Boys Sweet 16 next week.