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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Carson ITF Grade 1, USTA Easter Bowl Canceled Due to COVID-19 Virus; Ivy League Cancels Spring Sports; College Matches to be Played Without Spectators; Fed Cup Postponed

For the first time in 16 years, I won't be headed to Southern California for the ITF Grade 1 in Carson and the Easter Bowl in Palm Springs, with both tournaments announcing cancellations today due to the COVID-19 virus currently sweeping the world.

The Carson event, scheduled for March 23-29, was the first to announce. This year's tournament, under the auspices of the USTA Southern California section for the first time, provided this statement:

Due to the increasing concern surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, USTA Southern California announces the unfortunate cancellation of the International Open of Southern California, previously scheduled for March 21-29, 2020, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA.

With player and guest safety as our top priority, we have been monitoring CDC and Los Angeles County Department of Health guidelines and feel this is the appropriate action to take at this time. A make-up date will be considered pending the ongoing health climate, but no further information is available at this time. The official hotel of the IOSC, the Doubletree by Hilton Carson, will cancel all room reservations made in connection with the tournament without any further action by players, officials, guests or staff, and without financial penalty.

For inquiries related to the IOSC, please contact Tournament Director, Scott Lipsky at slipsky@scta.usta.com or at IOSC@scta.usta.com. For information about the possible reschedule of the tournament, please refer to the tournament website, www.iosocal.com.

The Easter Bowl will not be played later this month at Indian Wells
Shortly after Carson was canceled, the Easter Bowl made its announcement, with cancellation of all National Championships for the four age divisions--12s, 14s, 16s and ITF scheduled for March 28-April 5 in the Palm Springs area.  The announcement:

The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, the 2020 Easter Bowl will not take place. The event was to be held March 28-April 5, 2020 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the home of the BNP Paribas Open, which is also no longer being held.

“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of everyone involved with the Easter Bowl is of the highest importance,” said Tournament Director Lorne Khule. “We are exploring options to hold the event at another time.”

The ITF Grade 4 in Las Vegas, scheduled to begin with qualifying this Saturday, is still on, but that obviously could change at any moment.

Although this is hardly an important consideration in the overall scheme of things, these cancellations will make it extremely difficult for American juniors to improve their ITF rankings in an attempt to make the summer junior slams. The global nature of the epidemic, however, means that they may not be at any more of a disadvantage than juniors in many other countries, and no one would argue that these points are worth the risk to the players' health.

In addition to these ITF junior circuit cancellations, college tennis has also been affected, with the Ivy League announcing today that it was canceling all spring sports, which of course includes tennis. The NCAA has announced that its Division I college basketball event will be played without fans, which is also the tack many other schools are taking for tennis matches.  UCLA has announced that its men's match with No. 1 USC Thursday will be played without spectators, as will all UCLA spring sports competitions.  Pepperdine is allowing just two family members per student-athlete for its spring sports home events, with the University of Michigan adopting a similar policy. If you are planning on attending a local college match this weekend, please check the university's website before making the trip.

Many schools have announced they will be conducting classes online, rather than in classrooms, including my local university, Western Michigan. USA Today has a list of those schools, which is probably growing faster than they can update it.

Although the ITF has been slow to make any statements on the impact of the virus on its tournaments, it did announce today that the Fed Cup finals in Budapest, scheduled for April 14-19, has been postponed


Ashish said...

Vegas is canceled as well. Thanks!
Is USTA canceling Level 3s next week?