Sports world hits pause among virus pandemic

Posted 3/18/20

The rapid spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has seemingly infiltrated every aspect of life over the last week and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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Sports world hits pause among virus pandemic

Posted

The rapid spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has seemingly infiltrated every aspect of life over the last week and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Whether it is local or professional, the sports world is no exception. The NBA was the first major organization to take drastic steps when they paused all activities indefinitely Wednesday after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for Coronavirus.

On Thursday, a number of other sporting organizations followed suit and suspended or canceled their current or upcoming activities as a result of the pandemic. Most notably, the NCAA canceled all spring sporting activities, including March Madness, while the MLB canceled spring training and suspended the start of their regular season until at least mid-May.

It is an unprecedented time in sports as every level of competition is impacted and numerous organizations across the world scramble to find safe and rational solutions.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced a two-week suspension on all contests Friday and updated the suspension Monday to include all practices, rehearsals and workouts. They also released a tentative list of rescheduled postseason contests for the spring season to accommodate for the time missed. 
“We are urging our member schools and communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”

The suspension went into effect Monday and will last through March 29.

“The UIL will ensure that everything is fair and consistent throughout our competitions,” said Madisonville Athletic Director Rusty Nail. “So much is up in the air and unprecedented that about all you can do now is what is in the best interest of our athletes’ and coaches’ health and safety. The rest will take care of itself.”

“This is definitely a difficult time for schools in general,” said North Zulch Athletic Director Matt Kirschner. “What is concerning is that we do not know if the UIL will change the dates of no competition again. It will be harder for baseball teams to get them all in due to the pitch count restrictions. Softball will have an easier time without any pitch count restrictions. Track may end up having to combine the Area meets to get them in if the cancelations extend to April.”

As of Monday, the postseason slates for baseball and softball remain as scheduled.

The Bi-District Round for soccer has been rescheduled for April 14, followed by Area April 18, Regional Quarters April 21, Regional Semi-Finals and Finals April 24-25 and the State Championships April 29-May 2.

“I know schools will make the best decisions for all athletes involved,” said Kirschner. “Health comes first and I hope this will be short-lived, but am not sure it will be. Kids will possibly go weeks without practice and, when they come back to school, will be put straight into competition due to trying to get games caught up.”

The UIL’s District Executive Committee (DEC) is responsible for determining all district schedules, meets, and tournament dates, along with determining procedures for deciding postseason district representatives.

Once activities resume, the UIL will allow for an exception to the school week limitation for varsity district contests in soccer, tennis, softball, and baseball. 

Since the situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic and possible cancelations as a result is fluid, visit uiltexas.org for constant updates and new information

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