Virus outbreak halts school sports


Last Friday, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League announced that it would be canceling the remaining winter sports tournaments for the 2019-2020 season.

Those tournaments included boys basketball, which was slated to play its Elite Eight games last weekend and then the final two rounds this coming weekend. The boys hockey state finals were originally set to be played at Brown University’s Meehan Auditorium, then moved to the Boss Arena at the University of Rhode Island, but were too, cancelled amid the outbreak.

“As a result of (Friday’s) joint announcement by Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health advising Rhode Islanders to stay home and avoid all non-essential crowds and also moving up the previously-scheduled April break for K-12 schools to next week, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League regrettably has cancelled all remaining winter tournaments,” RIIL executive director Thomas Mezzanotte said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “The RIIL made every effort to keep the tournaments going and to give the student-athletes an opportunity to finish out their winter seasons. However, the league in conjunction with the Principals’ Committee on Athletics has determined that is not possible given the extenuating circumstances created by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The league also went on to postpone the upcoming spring season a week as well. Spring sports were scheduled to begin on Monday, when teams were allowed to begin tryouts and hold practices.

“In addition, the start of spring sports, originally slated for Monday, March 16, will be delayed for one week. The RIIL will remain in communication with its member schools to determine a new start date,” said Mezzanotte.


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