A recap of all that will be missed amidst outbreak
LEXINGTON – A long list of event cancellations may have sports enthusiasts everywhere resort to recorded historical games or setting their favorite console video game to auto-play. Sporting events from the pro level down to local community organizations are putting their seasons on hold or cancelling them altogether with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nationally, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association began by putting their seasons on hold; the NBA suspended game play with an announcement on NBA.com and social media on Wednesday, March 11 while the NHL, the following day, announced they were ‘pausing’ their season. Both the NBA and NHL have posted articles on their websites featuring athletes with messages for fans about the outbreak.
In college sports, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, the 14 school organization in which the UNK Lopers are a member, announced suspension of all practices and games following the NCAA announcement on Thursday, March 12, cancelling all remaining winter and spring championships.
Getting a little closer to home, the Tri-City Storm hockey team, along with the rest of the United States Hockey League, made their announcement on Thursday, March 12 to suspend their season, announcing the board of directors’ decision with USHL athletes, staff, officials and fans health in mind.
The Nebraska State Activities Association made a decision to close the boys state basketball championships to the public, only allowing players, officials, media and immediate family to attend the games in Lincoln last week. With so many suspended seasons and cancelled events in the national organizations, decisions were being made on an individual basis for Nebraska high schools. Lexington Public Schools were the first in the Lexington area to cancel all out-of-town activities for the remainder of the month of March. LPS made their announcement on Thursday, March 12.
The NSAA made an announcement on Monday, March 16 suspending all activity practices through the end of the month and all competitions into the beginning of April. The Statement released by the NSAA is as follows:
Effective Monday, March 16 all NSAA activity practices are suspended until Monday, March 30 and all NSAA activity competitions are suspended until Thursday, April 2. These suspensions may be extended should the conditions warrant.
Member schools and student-participants are expected to adhere to the NSAA Constitution & Bylaws and activity manuals during this time.
As more information becomes available, official updates will be posted on the NSAA website and the NSAA social media platforms.
Lexington’s Orthman YMCA posted a statement on social media on Sunday, March 15 declaring closure until Tuesday, March 31, coinciding with LPS closures. The following statement was released by the Orthman YMCA:
Starting Tuesday March 17, due to the closure of Lexington Public Schools and COVID-19 outbreak the Orthman Community YMCA has chosen to close until March 31, this includes all activities and programs.
We will continue to evaluate this situation from here on out and keep it updated. We ask for your continued understanding and support during this time.
Dawson County Raceway promoter Chad Dolan is optimistic about the fast approaching racing season. As of the evening of Monday, March 16 in a Facebook Live video, Dolan said he planned on having a test and tune on Sunday, April 26, may or may not postpone some events at the beginning of the season but is confident there will be a racing season at DCR this summer.