Friday coronavirus sports update
Everyone in sports finally is facing a potential reality that many didn't seem to want consider until now: There will not be time to complete what they started in 2020.
Cases in point: the NBA and MLB.
The NBA by now must realize it has to hope for a best-case scenario of a shortened postseason. Owners will have to fight over how many teams make the playoffs — assuming the coronavirus pandemic lessens by summer, and then stays at a low level. The league also has to plot options for sites, possibly staging games without fans in attendance and for TV only. Perhaps all playoff games can take place in one arena; that would make it easier for all involved in the playing and the production. Or maybe there can be one western and one eastern site.
Major league baseball, meanwhile, is not going to get in all of its 162 regular-season games per team this season. Depending on when baseball games can begin, MLB will have to decide how late in the calendar it can go with a postseason.
Minor league baseball is in even more jeopardy, with its generaly more condensed seasons and heavy reliance on revenue from in-the-ballpark fans. On top of that, MLB leadership has not been looking kindly on the minor leagues; even before COVID-19, 42 minor-league teams were on the chopping blocks.
Most every other sport and league also will have to figure out the look of its reduced year of competition, letting go of many events — again, assuming competition is safe and feasible.
If — and that IF — the sports world can get back to business, the second half of 2020 is likely to be filled with action with teams, leagues and organization attempting to salvage revenue from games and events.
These cheery but frank thoughts lead us into today's update:
NBA/Trail Blazers: The NBA remains shut down indefinitely, with lots of talk about how to go straight to the playoffs, how many teams should take part and how many games there might be. Oh, and where and how to play them. A lot depends on the next few weeks of quarantines, socially distancing, scientific research, business production and more.
MLS/Timbers: The MLS season is off until at least mid-May. The Timbers have had nine of 34 regular-season matches postponed, through their May 9 game at Salt Lake City. They and other teams are not allowed to train at this point, a moratorium that on Thursday was extended at least through April 24.
The Timbers (1-1-0) are scheduled to return to the pitch on Sunday, May 17 at home against the Seattle Sounders.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup also has been suspended, for 30 days. That delays the first three rounds, which were set for March 24 through April 23. Portland will join the competition in the fourth round (of 32), on May 19 or 20.
Timbers 2: The United Soccer League team has suspended play until May 10. That wipes out Portland's home opener, set for Sunday against Colorado Springs. Also gone are T2 matches versus Reno 1868, San Antonio FC, Real Monarchs SLC, OKC Energy FC, San Diego Loyal SC, FC Tulsa and Sacramento Republic FC. From May 16 through Oct. 17. Timbers 2 still have 24 league games, including 11 at Hillsboro Stadium and one at Providence Park.
A USL training moratorium is in effect through Sunday, April 19.
Thorns: The National Women's Soccer League has canceled all preseason matches — including the Thorns' tournament that was to be played between last Sunday and this Saturday at Providence Park. Teams are prohibited from training till further notice.
The Thorns' season opener is April 18 at Providence Park against the Utah Royals. The 24-game regular season goes through Oct. 18.
Winterhawks: The Western Hockey League canceled what was left of its regular-season and the playoffs. Portland was declared the regular-season champion based on winning percentage. The Winterhawks finished 45-11-3-4 (97 points, .770), just ahead of the Everett Silvertips 46-13-3-1 (96, .762).
Training camps typicaly open in mid-August. The season ordinarily begins in the latter half of September.
Hops: Hillsboro's Class A baseball team is scheduled to open June 17 at the Spokane Indians. The Hops' home opener is June 22 against the Eugene Emeralds. The start of minor-league baseball is various levels is being delayed, however.
Pickles: Portland is part of the West Coast League, which still hopes to have its 16th season of college wood-bat baseball, but that is up in the air. The plan for now is still for the Pickles' home slate at Walker Stadium to kick off June 3 with a nonleague game against the San Francisco Seals.
College football: The Oregon and Oregon State spring games set for April 18 were called due to the pandemic. Portland State got in most of its spring football workouts but had to cancel its 15th and final session along with its March 14 spring game.
Pac-12: On March 14, the conference canceled all sports competition through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. All team-related activities are suspended until at least March 29, when that decision will be revisited.
Big Sky: On March 18, the league, which includes Portland State, canceled all spring sports competitions and championships and suspended practices and workouts.
West Coast Conference: On March 14, the WCC canceled all spring sports for the University of Portland and its other members, including organized practices, for the 2019-20 academic year.
GNAC: The NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference, which includes Concordia and Western Oregon, has canceled all spring sports, and suspended all athletics-related activities through June 30.
The turn of events cut short the final season of Concordia athletics, as the school announced earlier this year that it will close after this academic year and that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church Extension Fund are likely to put up the Northeast Portland school property for sale.
NWC: The NCAA Division III Northwest Conference, which includes Lewis & Clark, Pacific University, George Fox, Linfield and Willamette, on March 12 canceled spring sports competition and championships.
NAIA: The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has canceled all spring sports, which wiped out track and field and golf for Multnomah and track and field, golf and softball for Warner Pacific of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
NWAC: The junior college Northwest Athletic Conference (which includes Portland Community College and Clackamas Community College) canceled spring competitions and championships.
Preps: The Oregon School Activities Association has suspended spring practices and contests through April 28, per the closure of schools statewide by Gov. Kate Brown.
The OSAA Executive Board will meet on April 15 and reevaluate further options. It met on Wednesday online and showed little interest in having sports in the summer.
The OSAA has been working with its chief medical advisor, Dr. Mick Koester, to develop guidelines by which sports could be resumed, with an emphasis on student safety, if schools are able to reopen this spring.
The board would want a seven-day period with practices only, limited to one per day of no more than three hours and no more than six consecutive days, with heat warnings and baseball pitch count limitations. It also then would want to limit the number of contests allowed in a week to numbers to be determined by sport, emphasizing late-afternoon starts and weekend games when possible to limit the loss of class time.
• The annual Oregon All-Star Series in baseball has been canceled. It was set for June 20-21 at Goss Stadium. The sponsoring Oregon High School Baseball Coaches Association said "there is too much COVID-19-related uncertainty to effectively plan for and execute this celebratory event."
• The Oregon High School Lacrosse Association (boys) and Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association have suspended practices and games as well.
Little League baseball/softball: Little League International, which has more than 6,5000 programs in more than 84 countries, has recommended that all leagues suspend or delay all activities until at least May 11.
Nike Hoop Summit: The annual clash at Moda Center between top young players from the U.S. and world, which was set for April 10, has been canceled by USA Basketball.
Women's football: The Portland Fighting Shockwave's start of the Women's Football Alliance season has been pushed back four weeks, to May 2.
Roller derby: All Rose City Rollers skating programs are canceled. Bouts are postponed through April 18.
Skiing: Mt. Hood Meadows, Hoodoo Ski Area and Willamette Pass Ski Area suspended operations for the season.
Timberline, Mt. Hood Skibowl and Mount Bachelor are closed indefinitely.
Portland Parks & Recreation: All indoor facilities, including community centers, pools and indoor courts, are closed at least through April 14.
Bowling: Grand Central and KingPins in Southeast Portland and Milwaukie Bowl have shut down for now.
NFL/Seattle Seahawks: The draft is still on for April 23-25, but fans will not be allowed to attend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Offseason workouts won't start as planned in April 6.
Team facilities have been closed to players, other than to those undergoing medically supervised rehab.
Post-draft rookie mini-camps are on, at this point, for May 1-4 and 8-11.
The NFL's spring meeting is May 19-20 at Marina Del Ray, California.
Preseason camps are slated to start in July.
The regular-season schedule generally is released in mid-April.
XFL/Seattle Dragons: The first-year, eight-team league called off the final five rounds of its 10-game regular-season and playoffs. Players with the Seattle Dragons and other teams will receive their base pay and benefits, and the league said it intends to return in 2021.
CFL: The Canadian Football League preseason is set to start on May 24, and Week 1 of the regular season has games on June 11 and 12.
But the CFL postponed its annual global draft from April 16 to April 30, which would coincide with the start of training camps.
NHL: The league suspended play indefinitely with about three weeks left in its regular season. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said because each team has played at least 68 games, "we have had a meaningful regular season in terms of separating potential playoff teams from non-playoff teams." That shows the NHL is mostly contemplating what kind of playoff tournament it could hold in a shortened time period, even if the format calls for single-elimination matchups.
Also up in the air are the NHL scouting combine, June 1-6 at Buffalo, and the NHL draft, June 26-27 at Montreal.
Minor-league hockey: The American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League, which also include several former Winterhawks, have gone dark. The AHL suspended play indefinitely, and the ECHL has canceled the remainder of its season.
MLB/Seattle Mariners: The major leagues called off the rest of spring training, postponed opening day until at least May and might wind up not starting until around Memorial Day, if then. The 2020 season was scheduled to begin on March 26.
Owners and have players have agreed to talk about how and when to start, and how to pay players and credit them for service if it never does. Both sides said they would play beyond the typical end of the World Series, if necessary.
The Seattle Mariners and all other teams still have been allowed to make roster moves, cut players from spring rosters and reassign or option players to minor-league teams.
The Mariners were to have opened their season with a home series against Texas, March 26-29.
A June 13-14 series at London between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs has been canceled.
The All-Star game is set for July 14, with the Los Angeles Dodgers serving as host.
WNBA: The league will go forward with its April 17 draft, in which Oregon Ducks stars Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard are expected to be high selections. Players will not be on site, and no fans will attend. It will be on ESPN, starting at 4 p.m. PT.
Training camps remain booked to start April 26, with the regular season to begin on May 15. But, Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said "the health and safety of players and employees — with our teams and at the league level — is of the utmost importance."
The first four picks in the draft belong to, in order, the New York Liberty, the Dallas Wings, the Indiana Fever and the Atlanta Dream.
Olympics: The Tokyo Summer Games, which were slated for July 24-Aug. 9, have been rescheduled for 2021, from July 23 through Aug. 8.
The Paralympics will take place Aug. 24 through Sept. 5 in 2021.
Track and field: The Pac-12 championships that were set Corvallis (multi-events, May 9 and 10) and for the still-under-rebuilding Hayward Field (May 16 and 17) have been canceled.
USA Track & Field also called off the Olympic Trials, which awere booked for Hayward Field from June 19-28.
Another Hayward favorite, the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic, is slated for June 7, but ticket sales have been suspended for nearly three weeks.
The biggest events in Portland — the Portland Track Festival and Stumptown Twilight -- are scheduled for June 4 and 5, and June 12, respectively, at Lewis & Clark College. The PTF Youth Festival, set for May 30-31, has been canceled.
The USATF Under-20 championships are June 12-14 at Miramar, Florida.
The annual Hershey UASTF National Youth Indoor Championship, which was set for March 20-22 at Staten Island, New York, has been canceled.
The Drake Relays (April 25, Des Moines, Iowa) have been canceled. The Penn Relays (April 25, Philadelphia) have been canceled, though officials said they will try to have a substitute track meet in late May or early June.
Marathons: The Portland Marathon is not until Oct. 4. The Boston Marathon, however, was postponed last week for five months and now is set for Sept. 14.
IndyCar: IndyCar canceled the first four events on its 2020 calendar, races in St. Petersburg, Florida, Birmingham, Alabama, Long Beach, California and Austin, Texas.
Thirteen events remain, but so far two have been rescheduled: the May 9 GRM Grand Prix on a 14-turn road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 on the IMS' 2.5-mile oval. The GRM Grand Prix has moved from May 9 to July 4. The Indy 500 has been switched from May 24 to Aug. 23.
The Grand Prix of Portland had to be moved back one week and is now scheduled for Sept. 11-13 at Portland International Raceway.
The next lives races are slated for Detroit on May 30 and 31.
PIR has canceled events until the last week in April.
NASCAR: The stock car governing body has canceled races through May 3. In the Nascar Cup Series, seven events lost at least for now are now listed as TBD: The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the Food City 500 at Bristol (Tennessee) Motor Speedway, the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Virginia) Raceway, the Gico 500 at Talladega (Florida) Superspeedway and the NASCAR Cup Series Race at Dover (Delaware) International Speedway.
Next on tap in the series is the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Drag racing: The 32nd annual Hot Rod Nationals at Woodburn Dragstrip are Aug. 7-9.
PGA Tour: The tour has canceled eight events through the AT&T Byron Nelson, which was to end on May 10.
The Masters, which was scheduled for April 9-12, has been postponed, with no new date announced.
The PGA Championship, the second of four majors on the 2020 men's calendar, has been postponed from May 14-17 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to dates to be determined.
The U.S. Open is expected to be delayed from June 18-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, New York.
The next PGA Tour event on the calendar is May 21-24, the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
Men's golf: Phil Mickelson indicates he is working on some kind of show for television during the quarantine, perhaps even a rematch of his November 2018, made-for-TV match with Tiger Woods. But even that appears iffy.
LPGA Tour: The ladies tour has postponed nine events and shifted others.
Events are postponed through the LPGA Mediheal Championship April 30-May 3 in Daly City, Calif.
Next up is the May 14-17 Pelican Women's Championship at Belleair, Florida.
The first scheduled major event is the U.S. Women's Open, June 4-7 at Houston.
The Evian Championship in France has moved from late July to Aug. 6-9. The ANA Inspiration, which was supposed to be the first of the five majors, has been pushed back from the first week of April to Sept. 10-13.
The Cambia Portland Classic thus will be played one week later than planned; it is now set for Sept. 17-20 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
From Portland, the top women golfers in the world will go to the Volunteers of America Classic at The Colony, Texas, for an Oct. 1-4 tournament.
Other women's golf: The Symetra Tour, a supporting circuit, has postponed multiple events and rescheduled two others. The tournaments postponed carried through June 14, and include the Windsor Golf Classic, which won't be played until 2021. The IOA Invitational has been rescheduled from May 7-9 to Aug. 21-23, and the Four Winds Invitational has moved to July 31-Aug. 2.
The LPGA and Symetra Tour qualifying tournament won't be Aug. 20-23 as scheduled but will take place Oct. 12-15, and move from California to Florida.
The Ladies European Tour is idle unil the May 7-9 Jabra Ladies Open at Evian, France.
The Japan LPGA Tour and the Asian Tour each canceled three tournaments in March. The Asian Tour rescheduled one event for May 8-10 in Hong Kong.
European Tour: The tour has postponed five events and canceled two others. Next on the docket is the May 28-31 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Kilkenny, Ireland. Tourneys postponed were in Nairobi, Kenya; New Delhi, India; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Shenzhun, China; Sotogrande, Spain; Farso, Denmark. Canceled was an event in Cascais,Portugal.
Korn Ferry Tour: The second-level circuit under the PGA Tour umbrella has canceled six events through the April 30-May 3 Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation at Nashville, Tennessee. Two other events were postponed, the latest the Visit Knoxville Open, May 14-17.
As of now, the tour is set to resume May 21-24, with the Evans Scholars Invitational at Glenview, Illinois.
The annual WinCo Foods Portland Open at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club is Aug. 6-9.
Local golf: The Oregon Golf Association has canceled all April events. Next is the PNGA Cup Matches, May 6-8 at Kamloops, British Columbia.
The Pacific Northwest Senior PGA this week postponed indefinitely its Players Championship, which had been set for April 14-15 at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington. Still on is the May 18-20 Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open at Kent, Wash.
Tennis: Wimbledon is off for the first time since during World War II in 1945, the All England Club announced on Wednesday — and for the first time in peacetime since it began in 1877. It had been scheduled for June 29 through July 12. The 2021 Wimbledon Championships are set for June 28 through July 11.
The ATP men's and WTA women's pro tours have extended their suspension of tournaments another six weeks, through July 13.
Softball: National Pro Fastpitch has postponed its March 30 draft and canceled opening day and opening series events set for April 10-19. The league said it would announce revised scheduling plans on May 1.
Major League Rugby: The third-year, 12-team league, which includes the two-time champion Seattle Seawolves, has canceled the rest of its season.
Each team had played five games. The regular season was supposed to have ended on May 31.
Horse racing: The Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5. The other Triple Crown races are still on: the Preakness on May 16, and the Belmont Stakes on June 6. But both are considering a shift to September or October.
Grants Pass Downs has canceled its Racing on the Rogue meet, which was set for Sundays and Mondays from May 10 through June 8. A summer meet, with racing on Saturdays and Sundays, is still on for June 20 through July 12, with a fall meet Sept. 20 through Nov. 9.
International basketball: The EuroLeague has suspended all games, and the National Basketball League in Australia canceled its finals after three games of a best-of-five series.
And the Chinese Basketball Association has reversed course and per government order has had to delay its planned April 15 return to acton.
Various U.S. players, including veteran point guard Pooh Jeter from the University of Portland, had returned to compete. The league now is said to be thinking of playing into July or August, if possible.
Fencing: In addition to the postponed by one year of the Tokyo Olympics, various World Cup events have been postponed in Hungary, Argentina, Belgium and Uzbekistan, along with the Junior world championships originally set for April 3-11 at Salt Lake City.
Volleyball: The VIVB Volleyball Nations League has been postponed. The U.S. men were scheduled to play host to Brazil, Canada and Argentina May 22-24 in Pittsburgh, and the U.S. women, who are two-time defending champions, were slated to play host to Japan, Turkey and Belgium June 9-11 at Wichita State University in Kansas.
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