DIAA hoop tourneys on hold over coronavirus concerns

DOVER — Concerns over the potential spread of the Coronavirus are now impacting high school sports in Delaware.

On Tuesday evening, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association announced that, because the University of Delaware will not permit fans to attend events being held at UD’s Carpenter Center in Newark, the last two rounds of the girls’ and boys’ basketball state tournaments will be played at alternate sites.

The change in venue also means that both tourneys will be delayed at least one day while the details are worked out.

“Out of an abundance of caution, UD officials decided to disallow spectator attendance at the tournament, leading DIAA to choose to move the games to new locations,” the DIAA said in a press release. “UD officials said this difficult decision is rooted in concern for the safety of UD’s students, faculty and staff.”

The girls’ semifinals were slated to be played this evening with the finals on Friday. The boys’ semifinals were scheduled to be played on Thursday evening with the title game on Saturday afternoon.

The DIAA said that a new schedule will be announced today.

Cape Henlopen High is playing in the girls’ semifinals with Dover in the boys’ semifinals. The change also impacts the Unified state finals between Dover and Caesar Rodney, which was slated to be played on Friday evening in Newark.

It may mark the first time that none of the basketball state championship games have been played at either the Field House or Carpenter Center at UD.

The boys’ tournament dates to 1967 while the girls’ tourney began in 1973.

The Carpenter Center is the biggest arena in the state with a seating capacity of just under 5,000 for basketball.

The Coronavirus situation has been effecting sports events worldwide. The Ivy League just announced it has canceled its men’s basketball tournament while U.S.’s major pro leagues are not allowing media members in locker rooms for the time being.

There have been games played with no fans allowed to attend.

Fans who already purchased tickets for state tournament games at the Carpenter Center will be refunded. Those who paid with a credit card will be automatically refunded within 3-5 business days.

Anyone who has paid with cash or check will be contacted by the UD Ticket Office. Please contact the UD Ticket Office at (302) 831-2257 or athletics-tix@udel.edu with any questions in regards to the refund of tickets.