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In what could become commonplace across the country as fears around the coronavirus outbreak grow, Connecticut became the first state Tuesday to completely cancel its winter high school sports tournaments.
The competitions affected include the boys and girls basketball postseason, the swimming championships and boys hockey.
Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Executive Director Glenn Lingairini said in media reports "placing the interests of student-athletes first" was the goal of the organization.
"This has just begun here so we don’t know how far this will spread," he told the Hartford Courant
, adding the organization is "not thinking of rescheduling winter tournaments at this point."
The move is the latest in unprecedented efforts to the global health crisis that's killed more than 3,800 worldwide.
Earlier Tuesday, the Ivy League canceled its postseason basketball tournament while Monday the Italian government shuttered all sporting events and the WTA canceled the BNP Parabis Open in California.
Over the weekend, the California Interscholastic Federation's state basketball tournament saw teams pulled over fears of the crisis. And many colleges and universities have begun suspending in-person classes, opting for distance education.
"I don't think anything brings out emotions more in people than athletics," Lungarini said, adding he felt for the seniors who would not be allowed to continue their prep careers. "When you are put in a position where you're told you can't play, we fully respect and understand those feelings of anger."