Ivy League cancels all spring varsity athletic events

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 3/11/20 7:05pm

In response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, the Ivy League announced this afternoon that all athletic practices and competitions for varsity spring sports through the end of the academic year will be cancelled. Following that decision, Dartmouth decided that all practices, competitions and spring break travel for club sports will also be cancelled for the spring term.  

The decision to cancel competition through the spring season — approved unanimously by the Ivy League presidents — follows yesterday’s decision to cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, which had been scheduled for this weekend. The impacted spring sports include baseball, equestrian, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, heavyweight rowing, lightweight rowing, women’s rowing, women’s rugby, sailing, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field.

The Ivy League presidents wrote in a joint statement that the decision was made after several of the Ivy League schools announced that they would be moving to remote instruction and discouraging students from returning to campus after spring break. Six of the eight Ivy League schools have cancelled in-person classes in the past week. Dartmouth and Brown University have not moved classes online as of press time.

“Given this situation, it is not feasible for practice and competition to continue,” the statement from the Ivy League presidents reads.

College President Phil Hanlon and athletics director Harry Sheehy notified Dartmouth athletes of the spring sports cancellations in an email sent earlier this afternoon obtained by The Dartmouth.

“The circumstances surrounding the novel coronavirus have led to unprecedented actions among individuals and organizations, including institutions of higher ed,” Hanlon and Sheehy wrote. “As difficult as these decisions may be, we must do our best to support them, knowing that they are being made with the health and welfare of our campus community at heart.”

The email encouraged the affected students to find other fulfilling activities for the upcoming term.

“We know that as student-athletes, you will not let this disappointment slow you down in achieving your personal goals, and that you will continue to support your teammates and each other in finding activities that will bring you equal joy and growth and will provide you with ample opportunities for leadership in these trying times,” Hanlon and Sheehy wrote.

In a separate email to club sport leaders, associate athletic director for club sports and intramurals Heather Somers announced that all practices and competitions for club sports teams will also be cancelled. All currently scheduled club sports competitions must be cancelled and travel during spring break for all teams will not occur.

Some Big Green varsity teams had been ranked highly for the spring season. Earlier this week, the women’s lacrosse team tied for No. 7 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse poll. In the preseason coaches’ poll released earlier today, the heavyweight rowing team was ranked No. 8.

According to the Ivy League’s statement, each school has discretion over whether to permit its qualified winter teams and athletes to participate in postseason play. Eleven members of the Big Green skiing team are currently competing in the NCAA Skiing Championships, which began today in Bozeman, MT. On Tuesday, diver Justin Sodokoff ’21 qualified on the 1-meter diving board for the NCAA Championship, scheduled to begin March 25 on the campus of Indiana University.