Friday, March 13, 2020

NCAA Cancels College World Series, Baseball Seasons

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) cancelled its entire Winter & Spring championship tournaments, including the College World Series. Though college baseball season itself did not technically encounter national cancellation, many individual conferences and schools have taken to cancelling seasons at the local level.

Similar stories can be found at the high school level, though the National Federation (NFHS) hasn't yet officially cancelled its calendar and has largely relied upon state associations to make individual calls. For instance, 13 states have presently canceled NFHS basketball tournaments, 16 postponed or suspended them, 10 imposed fan limits, and one (Montana) plans to continue without limitation.

Several cancellations were made in the midst of tournament play, and some of those decisions were made after having first tried to play games with fan limits. Some states also elected to cancel after first trying to suspend or postpone.

The NCAA, which opted to cancel all tournaments, issued the following statement:
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
College sports' governing body subsequently agreed that eligibility relief, or prolonged eligibility, for graduating seniors and other student-athletes will be considered at a later date.

Little League baseball also announced a postponement of Opening Day festivities.

As for umpires and referees, many officials from the youth and adult recreational to high school, college, and pro-am levels are suddenly out of work, which means the vast majority of sports officials impacted by cancellations and postponements will not be paid as most game officials tend to be independent contractors as opposed to employees otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance or other benefits.

As the Seattle Times wrote, "Gig workers fall through the public health safety net as corona virus spreads in Washington."

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: NCAA Cancels College World Series, Ripple Effect (CCS)

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