Coronavirus cancellations and reactions in sports

As COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, has spread around the globe in recent months, tournaments, games and other sporting events have been canceled, while others have been modified. The most recent big news? The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021.

The NBA season was suspended, and the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments. MLB canceled the remainder of spring training, and Opening Day has been delayed at least two weeks. The NHL also suspended play and golf's first major tournament of the year, the Masters, has been postponed. The Boston Marathon will delay its race until Sept. 14, the London Marathon has been postponed from April 26 to Oct. 4 and the 2020 Invictus Games have been postponed as well. Plus, Scripps said it will not be holding the National Spelling Bee as scheduled on May 24.

Here's a look at how the coronavirus is affecting sports in the U.S. and around the world:


The NCAA called off its men's and women's basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships. Here are some of the possible storylines we'll miss in the 2020 NCAA tournament. Plus go inside the 48 hours that shut down college sports.

Could seniors get another year of eligibility? The NCAA Division I Council Committee has recommended that student-athletes who participate in spring sports should be provided eligibility relief.


Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of being able to hold large gatherings, including sporting events, in the future.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a SportsCenter interview last week that one potential option for bringing back the sport would be some kind of charity competition. Silver said he isn't sure what the NBA schedule will look like if play resumes this season.

Here's a look inside the NBA coronavirus shutdown -- how a few tense hours changed everything.


Major League Baseball owners have approved a plan to address salary and service-time issues amid the indefinite delay to the start of the regular season.

Vowing that "baseball will be back" and "will be part of the recovery," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in an interview Wednesday with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter that "nothing's off the table" as the sport outlines its plan to return.

The Major League Baseball draft is increasingly likely to happen in July, though it could be shortened and include bonus deferrals.


The NHL has suspended the 2019-20 season. The league also postponed its draft, combine and awards show. The NHL's chief medical officer is urging caution on the prospect of the NHL returning to play this season -- including the idea of playing in empty arenas.


The NFL draft will go on as scheduled April 23-25, commissioner Roger Goodell said in a leaguewide memo distributed Thursday.

The league said it had "no plans to move the start of the league year," but canceled its annual meeting scheduled for March 29 through April 1 in Florida.


La Liga has been suspended indefinitely and the league said it would not resume until the Spanish government says it is safe to do so.

Euro 2020 has been postponed until 2021. This summer's Copa America has been postponed as well. UEFA has also taken the unprecedented step of suspending the Champions League and Europa League, as well as pushing back the finals of both competitions. The 2019-20 Women's Champions League final has also been postponed.

In England, Premier League bosses have underlined their commitment to finish the season, but said games in the division will be further postponed until at least April 30.

The other major leagues in Europe have been suspended as well -- Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

In the United States, Major League Soccer has pushed back the restart of its season to May 10. In Mexico, Liga MX has suspended play until further notice.

The last major league to stop playing was the Australian A-League, on March 23. However, the Belarus Premier League continues for now.

The African soccer federation has paused all games in African competition, including qualifiers for next year's African Cup of Nations.

The National Women's Super League has suspended the start of its season -- originally planned for April 18 -- but is yet to release a rescheduled start date.


The WNBA will hold its draft on April 17, as originally scheduled, without a gathering of draftees, media or fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the picks live on a broadcast starting at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App), with the top prospects taking part remotely.


The French Open has been postponed, and will now run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. The ATP and WTA have suspended play on both tours until June 7, a decision that eliminates the entire clay-court swing through Europe.

Horse racing

Churchill Downs has announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby will be moved from May 2 to Sept. 5, and Santa Anita canceled live racing Friday after instructions from the Los Angeles County Health Department. However, horse racing is still going on at roughly two dozen racetracks around the U.S. -- just without spectators.

Horse racing also continues on some tracks in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Africa.

Olympic sports

The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021. The delay could cost Japan $5.7 billion. A day after officially postponing the Olympics, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach invoked comments by President Donald Trump to defend himself from criticism.

Olympic officials have confirmed that the 6,200 or so athletes who had already punched their tickets for Tokyo will keep their spots for the rescheduled Games next year.

Here is a timeline of all the major Olympics-related decisions and announcements since the coronavirus outbreak started.


The XFL completed only half of its scheduled 10-week season before the rest was canceled.


Many esports events and tournaments have been postponed or canceled. One major example: All remaining Overwatch League events in March and April have been canceled, and the matches were moved to online play.


The UFC postponed three events scheduled for March 21, March 28 and April 11. Its next pay-per-view event is still scheduled to take place April 18 -- the original plan was to hold the event in New York, but UFC president Dana White said that was no longer possible due the coronavirus outbreak.


WWE announced last week that former NFL star Rob Gronkowski will host a two-night WrestleMania event April 4-5 at the promotion's training facility in Orlando, Florida.

Auto racing

The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

Formula One

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix became the eighth Formula One race affected by the coronavirus after it was postponed on Monday.

Monaco Grand Prix organizers announced last week that the famous race will not take place in 2020. F1 had already announced the postponements of six races, in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain and the Netherlands.


The Masters, the first major tournament of the year, was officially postponed. Could the Masters actually be canceled? That's one of several big questions addressed here.

The PGA Championship, the second major of the year, has also been postponed.

Although the United States Golf Association is sticking to its edict to have a decision by mid-April, a report in the New York Post said the U.S. Open would be postponed but with the intention of still playing at Winged Foot Golf Club in suburban New York later this year.


NASCAR plans to reschedule the seven Cup Series races postponed due to the pandemic. It has already postponed its season until May 9 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.


World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua's title defense against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed by several months. Here's a big-picture look at how the pandemic is affecting boxing.


Domestic rugby leagues across Europe have been halted. The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarterfinals have been postponed, while the Gallagher Premiership and TOP 14 have been suspended. The PRO14 has been suspended indefinitely as well, and its final scheduled for June has been canceled.

England's Rugby Football Union has canceled all domestic rugby seasons other than the Gallagher Premiership, and plans to announce its decision regarding league ramifications in April.

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations is still to be completed after four matches -- Italy vs. England, Ireland vs. Italy, France vs. Ireland and Wales vs. Scotland -- were postponed.