By ELEANOR HANSSLER
Following the closure of all IUSD schools due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus), effective Monday, March 16th, all UHS athletic events have been cancelled. Previously, athletic events not exceeding a capacity of 250 people were scheduled to continue, provided that there were no spectators in attendance, as per the official statement of California governor Gavin Newsom, released early in the morning of Thursday, March 12th.
“While we understand this decision is disappointing, we believe that the opportunity to compete in athletic contests does not outweigh our obligation to place the health and safety of all our athletes, coaches, schools and communities.” (UHS website).
After Newsom’s announcement on March 1st that California schools would be closed for the remainder of the year, all UHS athletic events are not expected to recommence until the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Meanwhile, coaches are looking for ways in which to ensure their students, including those taking Physical Education, are still earning the credits they need to graduate. Student athletes have been advised to contact their coaches individually regarding distance learning assignments and/or practices.
On April 3rd, C.I.F. released an official statement, announcing that the 2020 Spring sports season has been cancelled.
“Based on the recent statements … the California Interscholastic Federation (C.I.F.) does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue. As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events. We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As always, our top priority is everyone’s ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes”(C.I.F. website).
In regards to professional sports, all major American sports associations have taken preventive steps in order to limit the further spreading of COVID-19. Yesterday, NBA and Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, one of the factors that contributed to the NBA’s decision to postpone all games indefinitely. Gobert himself has now been taken into the care of Oklahoma City medical professionals.
In a tweet sent out on Wednesday, March 11, the association wrote:
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the corona virus pandemic”.
Early in the morning of March 11, a second Jazz player was diagnosed, Shooting Guard Donovan Mitchell. Additional measures have been enacted to quarantine the individuals who had been in contact with either Mitchell or Gobert in the past two weeks in order to prevent the further spread of the virus. Among the other NBA players to have tested positive in the past few weeks are Detroit Pistons’ forward Christian Wood. Brooklyn Net’s player Kevin Durant, along with three other unnamed teammates, Marcus Smart, a Boston Celtic’s guard, two unnamed Lakers’s players, and three unnamed members of the Philadelphia 76’ers organization.
The NHL and World Tennis Tour took similar steps, suspending their season and games indefinitely, while the MLB opening day has been pushed back two weeks and will re-evaluate the situation as that date comes closer regarding the further continuation of season. Meanwhile, the NFL’s annual draft will be held on television only. Sean Payton, New Orlean’s Saint’s Head Coach, tested positive for the virus on Thursday, March 19th.
Major League Soccer has canceled all matches for the next thirty days, also cancelling the friendlies between the Men’s National Team and Women’s National Team that were scheduled to take place later this month. The Euro 2020 and Copa América have both been until 2021 as well.
Globally, European soccer leagues in Spain, England, Germany, France, and Italy have all cancelled their season. Among the soccer players afflicted with COVID-19 are Juventus players Daniele Rugani and Paulo Dybala, Real Madrid power forward Trey Tompkins, and three Fiorentina players, German Pezzella, Patrick Cutrone, and Dusan Vlahovic.
Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus also tested positive on the 16th, despite claiming that he had no symptoms, along with Enrique Bonilla, president of the Liga MX Soccer League. Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi were also diagnosed on March 12th, leading to the closing of all Arsenal and Chelsea training facilities.
On Monday, March 23rd, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the Olympics have been postponed to an yet undetermined date, instead of commencing on July 24th as was initially planned.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided” Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said in an interview with USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know”.
Kozo Tashima, Japan’s Olympic Committee deputy chief and 2012 Olympic Breaststroke champion Cameron Van der Burgh have both also tested positive for the virus.
The Olympics is now scheduled to take place on July 23rd, 2021, and will be ending on August 8th. The Paralympics have also been pushed back a year in accordance with the Olympic Games.
For continued updates and coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak’s implications for UHS and IUSD, go to https://iusd.org/covid-19-resource-page or on the COVID-19 tab of the UHS Sword and Shield website.
This article was updated with the information available as of Sunday, May 31st, 2020.