The coronavirus has impacted the sports world with unprecedented repercussions. Here is a look at how the infectious disease, which has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has impacted local sports.
The Wolf Pack basketball team was ticketed for the postseason, but that started to fray Wednesday when the CBI was canceled. The NCAA men's and women's tournaments were canceled Thursday as we all winter sports championships, which would include the NIT, which was a potential landing spot for Nevada. The CollegeInsider.com Tournament also was canceled. Nevada's season is over at 19-12 overall and 12-6 in the Mountain West in Steve Alford's first campaign in silver and blue.
Nevada spring sports
On Thursday morning, the Mountain West announced it was suspending spring sports indefinitely, meaning baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field were being put on ice. Later in the day, the NCAA canceled all spring championships, essentially ending the seasons in those sports. The MW followed suit by canceling spring sports for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Nevada has canceled its spring football game but is scheduled to start its 15 spring football practices on March 24. "Decisions with regard to the continuation of local practice activities in various sports, including spring football, are a matter of institutional discretion depending upon local conditions," the MW said in a statement. The MW also has suspended all on-campus and off-campus in-person recruiting until further notice.
Wolf Pack track and field athlete Nicola Ader flew from Reno to Albuquerque on Thursday and was one of 16 athletes due to compete in the national championships in the high jump Saturday. As of Thursday morning, that event was on track to be held without fans in attendance. But the NCAA's announcement later in the day canceling winter championships ended that meet without competition.
Nevada boxing club
Reno was scheduled to host the Western Regional college club boxing event but the NCBA Executive Committee canceled all regional and national boxing tournaments Wednesday night.
Other Nevada events
The Wolf Pack athletic department has also canceled the postseason dinners for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as the 11th annual Blue Tie Ball, which was scheduled for April 10. Members of the Wolf Pack special events and development staff will be in touch soon with those who had already purchased Blue Tie Ball tickets or sponsorships, as well as those who had RSVP’d for the basketball postseason dinners. “The safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes, along with that of our coaches, staff and the Wolf Pack community are of the utmost importance to us,” athletic director Doug Knuth said in a news release. “We are in support of this decision by the conference’s board of directors and we know that the Mountain West is not alone in these decisions. This is a difficult time for a great many of us, and these public-safety decisions to limit the spread of COVID-19 can create more questions than answers. We will fully support our student-athletes, not only in terms of physical and mental health, but also academically and in any issues related to NCAA eligibility.”
Reno 1868 FC
Reno 1868 FC was scheduled to play its home opener Saturday at Greater Nevada Field before the USL suspended play for a minimum of 30 days. The league's goal is to make up those games when competition resumes. "Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our Northern Nevada community, and we will continue to follow the recommendations of local and state health authorities, as well as the USL and US Soccer Federation, who are utilizing the recommendations of the CDC," Reno 1868 FC said in a statement. Club president Eric Edelstein joined NSN Daily to discuss the decision to suspend play.
Major League Baseball has decided to push back the start of its regular season by two weeks, which has impacted minor-league ball. "Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season," it said. "We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date." MLB's two-week delay would have allowed for the Reno Aces' to play their April 9 season opener, but that is now being pushed back, per MiLB's statement.
Washoe County School District has restricted out-of-state travel, which has impacted a number of local baseball teams that were going to play tournaments in Southern California over spring break. There has not been any restriction or cancellations for in-state play, so those events remain scheduled. The NIAA's Hall of Fame event has been rescheduled from April 3 to Sept. 21. "We are expecting to have 400 attendees, many of them in the most at-risk age bracket(s)," the NIAA said in a news release. "The NIAA office staff, out of an abundance of caution, feels holding off on this memorable event is the best course of action."
The United States Bowling Congress is postponing or suspending national events through May 1. That includes the USBC Open Championships that was scheduled to be held in Reno from March 21-July 4. The USBC Open Championships are suspended until May 1 and all teams registered from March 21-April 30 will have the option to reschedule for new added dates in the summer. USBC customer service will contact team captains directly with more details.
Truckee Meadows Community College was scheduled for a grand opening of its Sports and Fitness Center on the Dandini Campus on Friday but the ribbon-cutting ceremony has been postponed.
The Leprechaun Race, a 5K run and walk in Reno through the Midtown and Wells Avenue districts, was canceled Thursday night after the City of Reno and Washoe County canceled all events through April 30. The Leprechaun Race was scheduled for Sunday morning. "We will still have the scheduled packet pick-up sessions at Eclipse Running (Friday) from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 pm. .and encourage you to come pick up your race cup filled with goodies, and your race shirt if you purchased one," event organizers said in a news release. "One person can pick up for multiple people. If you cannot make it to packet pickup, please plan to come by the Race178 office next week."
My Little League practice scheduled for Thursday night is still on, according to Washoe Little League, so at least we'll have some sports entertainment in the coming weeks. (Literally 5 minutes after I posted, I got a message saying Little League was postponed until April 6. Can't catch a break!)
Stay safe out there. And don't touch the mics of reporters like that genius Rudy Gobert.