The latest on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The Calgary Flames are temporarily relocating their American Hockey League subsidiary from California to the north of the border due to cross-border travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
The team announced Thursday that the Stockton Heat will play at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome this season. This will give the flames easier access to their players during the pandemic. The seven Canadian NHL teams will not cross the border in this year’s regular season.
The Heat will join the Belleville Senators (Ottawa), Laval Rocket (Montreal), Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg) and Toronto Marlies (Toronto) in the Canadian Division. The league says the division plan will be released in the coming days.
The move leaves the Vancouver Canucks (Utica, New York) and Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield, California) as the only Canadian teams with American AHL partners this season.
The Georgia state women’s basketball team postponed a makeup game against Coastal Carolina on February 2 because of COVID-19 protocols as part of the Chanticleers program.
The teams were originally scheduled to play in Atlanta in early January, but both games have been postponed due to the coronavirus. One of the competitions was supposed to be held at the GSU Sports Arena next week, but it has now been canceled. It is not known if another new date can be found.
The state of Georgia announced two make-ups against rival Troy from the Sun Belt Conference on February 16 – one each for the men’s and women’s teams. ___
As an extra precaution, Rice is delaying his upcoming men’s home basketball series with North Texas for one day.
The first game will now be played on Friday afternoon and the second on Sunday. The games were originally scheduled for Thursday and Saturday.
The Friday game will take place in Rice and will not be open to the public as per the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Rice officials are working on potential seating plans to ensure a level of attendance for future games and will announce plans to season ticket holders and the public when a decision is made.
The shortened two-week season and playoffs of the National Women’s Hockey League are limited to five teams after the Metropolitan Riveters withdrew from the competition after several members tested positive for COVID-19.
The development comes a day after the Riveter were not allowed to play their game against the Buffalo Beauts.
The league also revamped its schedule, postponing the remaining game on Thursday and moving it to Saturday. This gives the teams a two-day break as no games were scheduled for Friday.
The league has not released a revised schedule or playoff format for a shortened season played at Lake Placid, New York.
The teams should first face each other in the regular season round, which opened last weekend. Teams should then be seeded based on the leaderboard and play a two-game round robin tournament. The top four teams would then advance to the semi-finals on February 4th, followed by the championship game the next day.
– By hockey writer John Wawrow
The RBC Heritage will have a limited number of fans and sponsor tents in mid-April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The PGA tournament announced Thursday that face coverings will be mandatory to enter, while skyboxes and private eateries that usually surround Harbor Town Golf Links will be replaced with open-air villages and concession areas. The event will take place from April 15th to 18th.
Last year the RBC Heritage was canceled before the PGA Tour wanted to play it in one of the first tournaments after the restart of the schedule in June. In 2019, the event drew 135,000 spectators to Hilton Head Island. The organizers said they worked with representatives from Hilton Head, South Carolina and the PGA Tour on health and safety protocols for the tournament.
At Atlanta Motor Speedway, a limited number of fans can camp on the infield during NASCAR weekend March 20-21.
The Hampton suburbs speedway plans to use the Flock Brothers campground located on turns 1 and 2 of the 1.54 mile oval.
The plan calls for campers to be returned to their rooms, which have been expanded and are designed to ensure the recommended social distancing. Only mobile homes and mobile homes with locked toilets are permitted. The shower facilities and toilets on the campsite are not open on the race weekend.
The remainder of the infield is reserved for the NASCAR industry and event staff, and fewer fans are allowed in the stands.
Under NASCAR’s revised schedule, Atlanta Motor Speedway is again hosting two NASCAR weekends in 2021 after being limited to one for the past decade. The Cup series returns to the track in July.
The game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the St. Louis Blues scheduled for Thursday evening has been postponed.
The NHL says a Vegas player and another coach entered the COVID-19 log. That could mean a positive test, possible exposure, or something else.
Vegas played against St. Louis on Tuesday night without the entire coaching team. General Manager Kelly McCrimmon ran the bank with the minor league coaching staff.
The NHL says the Golden Knights training facilities are closed until further notice. A decision about the upcoming games will be made in the next 24-48 hours.
Vegas will face the San Jose Sharks next Tuesday and Thursday in Glendale, Arizona.
The Golden Knights are the third team, after Dallas and Carolina, that virus problems force a postponement. It’s the first shift outside of the league’s realigned Central Division.
The Cypriot Football Association says it is distributing emergency funding to struggling second and third division clubs to help them cope with additional pandemic-related costs.
The Cypriot Football Association said in a statement Thursday that each of the 18 second division clubs will receive € 12,000 to partially cover costs, including coronavirus testing of players and stadium maintenance. The 16 teams in the third division will each receive 10,000 euros.
The two divisions have been idle after the government ordered the suspension of all lower division games earlier this month as part of a three-week nationwide lockdown to curb the rise in coronavirus infections. Only first division clubs were allowed to play through the ban, which allowed them to conclude contracts on TV rights. They were also granted an undisclosed amount from the CFA.
Some lower division clubs have serious financial problems, especially in the second division, due to their numerous contracts with professional players.
San Antonio trainer Gregg Popovich received the COVID-19 vaccine and posted this announcement on Thursday to encourage others to get the shot when they get the chance.
Popovich published the news on his 72nd birthday. He made the announcement by the NBA in the form of a video, as did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league leader last week. Both are within the age guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccine eligibility.
“Scientifically speaking, it’s child’s play. It’s the right thing so that we can all get back on track, ”Popovich said in the video.
The video also shows Popovich receiving the vaccine. “I didn’t feel it,” he told the health worker who gave him the shot.
The CDC guidelines suggest that health workers, those living in long-term care facilities, key frontline workers, those over the age of 65, and those with “underlying medical conditions” that make them more susceptible should be given priority to receive the vaccine on COVID-19.
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