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Sports world faces mass cancellations due to coronavirus outbreak

Tournaments, seasons, and events have been suspended to prevent the disease from spreading

Photo (c) Rulles - Getty Images
The world of professional sports is competitive, but it seems that many of the top leagues were running in unison on Thursday in announcing the suspension and cancellation of events across the U.S.

After being told that they would not be able to attend an event like the NCAA tournament a day or two earlier, fans were shocked again to find out that many of the top leagues across multiple sports were pressing the pause button until the coronavirus outbreak is under control. Below is a list of how each organization and league is responding to the spread of COVID-19.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

On Thursday, the NCAA announced that it would be canceling the annual men’s and women’s basketball tournaments that take place during “March Madness.” 

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA felt the first true shock of COVID-19 on Wednesday when a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled just before tip-off because Utah center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus. 

On Thursday, the league announced later that night that it would be suspending the rest of the regular season until further notice.

Major League Baseball (MLB) 

The MLB has announced on Thursday that it will be suspending all spring training games and delaying the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. That will push Opening Day to March 26 if the schedule remains as it is now. 

In a statement, the league said it would “remain flexible” depending on how events transpire and will look to resume “normal operations as soon as possible.”

National Hockey League (NHL)

Like the MLB, the NHL announced on Thursday that it would be suspending games immediately in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The regular season for the sport was beginning to wrap up before the announcement, with only three and half weeks remaining before playoff hockey. 

National Football League (NFL)

With the playoffs ending in February and the preseason still months away, the NFL has not yet announced that it will be canceling or delaying the start of the upcoming season. 

Major League Soccer (MLS) 

The MLS has elected to suspend its season for 30 days in light of the outbreak, and the United States Soccer Federation has canceled men’s and women’s friendly matches. 

Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) 

The ATP has suspended play for six weeks over coronavirus concerns, and the Women’s Tennis Association has canceled the Volvo Car Open that was scheduled to begin on April 4.

PGA Tour (Golf)

Late Thursday, the PGA Tour announced that it would be canceling the Players Championship. It also plans to cancel the next three events on the tour schedule, including the Vaspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship, and the Valero Texas Open.

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)

NASCAR has elected not to cancel its next two scheduled races, but the organization will not be allowing fans to attend the events. 

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