Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. Johnson will miss the next Cup Series race, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and could be out even longer. According to NASCAR's rules about personnel returning from a COVID-19 diagnosis, they must be symptom-free and have two negative coronavirus tests in a 24-hour span.
Coronavirus live updates: Minor League Baseball season canceled; Players opt out of 60-game MLB season
How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting sports around the globe
The rapid spread of the coronavirus has caused cancellations and postponements of sporting events and affected sports around the globe. One of the biggest developments to occur since the outbreak in March is that Japan and the International Olympic Committee have decided to postpone the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo until next year.
As of June 17, there have been over 2.1 million confirmed coronavirus in the United States, and more than 116,000 have died due to the virus, according to CDC data. Below is a running list of updates on how COVID-19 has affected and is still affecting the world of sports.
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- The NBA has voted to return with a 22-team playoff format in Orlando beginning on July 31. There will be a play-in tournament to determine the eighth seeds in each conference.
- The NCAA canceled the 2020 Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, along with all other winter season championship events.
- Japan and the International Olympic Committee officially agreed to postpone the Summer Games to 2021 on March 24. They have been rescheduled, with the Opening Ceremony set to take place on July 23, 2021.
- The league initially suspended operations, including spring training, on Thursday, March 12. The MLB Players Association and MLB went back and forth negotiating for weeks, but on June 23 a 60-game season was agreed upon by both sides. Games are supposed to start on July 23 or 24.
- The NHL will return to play with a 24-team postseason format assuming that there aren't any setbacks in terms of positive coronavirus tests. There will be a play-in round to open the tournament and the top four teams in each conference will earn a bye. The league intends to make a decision on the two hub cities that will host all of the games once they start up again "within the next week or so."
- The PGA Tour canceled the Players Championship after the first round on March 13. The 2020 Masters has been postponed, while the 2020 British Open has been canceled.
- The Kentucky Derby, which was originally slated to be held on May 2, has been rescheduled to Sept. 5. The Preakness Stakes has been rescheduled from May 16 to Oct. 3 and the Belmont Stakes, for the first time ever, acted as the first leg of the Triple Crown on June 20, contested at a distance of 1 1/8 miles rather than the traditional 1 1/2 miles.
- After originally suspending play on March 12 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the XFL ceased operations on April 10 and filed for bankruptcy just three days later
According to Baseball America, Minor League Baseball is expected to announce that the 2020 season has been canceled. Teams can make announcements following MILB's official announcement, which is expected on Tuesday.
The University of Arizona halted its plan to bring athletes back to campus on Monday following an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the area. On June 15, the school allowed athletes to return for voluntary workouts in groups of 20. Gov. Doug Ducey announced that all gyms should be closed for 30 days as a result of the recent surge, which included 3,858 positive tests on Sunday.
Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross have opted out of the 2020 season restart, per a press release from the team
June 29, 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake has opted out of the 2020 season restart, according to his agent Danny Horwits. Leake becomes the first MLB player to do so. Players are allowed to opt-out of the 2020 season if they choose.
Two more NBA players, Buddy Hield and Jabari Parker, have tested positive for coronavirus, according to reports.
Tennis player Grigor Dimitrov has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he announced on Instagram on Sunday. Dimitrov, ranked No. 19 in the world, becomes the highest-profile tennis player to disclose a positive result for COVID-19.
Dimitrov, 29, had recently played in exhibition matches at the Adria Series in Serbia where other top tennis players were in attendance, including the World No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic.
Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews has tested positive for COVID-19. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, who lived with Matthews for an extended period of time this year but no longer does, did not test positive for the respiratory disease. The news comes as the NHL moves forward with its return to play plan. The league intends to make a decision on the two hub cities that will host all of the games once they start up again "within the next week or so."
As it stands, NHL teams will travel to the respective hub city on July 23 or 24 before playing one exhibition game and the 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on July 30 with qualifying rounds.
Here's where things stand with MLBPA preparing to vote on MLB's 60-game season proposal. Players are set to vote on the offer Sunday, but that vote could be pushed as their side tries to gather more information about MLB's coronavirus protocols.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have shut down all facilities after it was discovered that some players and staff tested positive for coronavirus.
According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, five Philadelphia Phillies players have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days. In addition, three team staff members have also had positive tests. Currently, the identities of those players are unknown.
In an interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that he isn't 100 percent sure that football games will be played this fall. Fauci points out that the NBA and MLS have the right idea in placing players inside of a "bubble" in a restart to their seasons.
On Wednesday, Serena Williams confirmed that she plans on playing in the US Open despite the coronavirus pandemic. The six-time US Open champion is "excited" to participate in the Grand Slam tournament even if there won't be fans in attendance.
On conf call @serenawilliams confirms she’ll compete in 2020 @usopen under Covid-19 protocols, saying she can’t wait 2 get 2 NY. 'It has been over 6 months since a lot of us have played a tournament…I’ll certainly miss the fans being out there...but this is crazy. I’m excited.'— Liz Clarke (@lizclarketweet) June 17, 2020
Tennis Canada announced that the Rogers Cup has been rescheduled from Aug. 8-16, 2020 to Aug. 7-15, 2021. It will be played in Toronto.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and following the measures imposed by various government officials and the ATP Tour, Tennis Canada regrets to announce the postponement of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Toronto. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/aWT2GtXyzS— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) June 17, 2020
According to Christopher Carey of the New York Times, the United States Tennis Association is expected to announce that the US Open will still be held despite the coronavirus pandemic. The Grand Slam tennis tournament will still take place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in Queens, New York.
The Boston Bruins announced that an unnamed player tested positive for the coronavirus. The player underwent two tests following the positive one and both came back negative. The player also remains asymptomatic.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that it is set to begin Phase 3 of its return to play plan on July 10. Phase 3 includes each of the 24 teams starting training camp.
According to a league press release, the length of Phase 3 and training camp has not been determined yet. As a result, the start date of Phase 4 -- which will include the return of play with clubs facing off in two undetermined hub cities -- is also not yet known.
Major League Soccer has announced that the league will return to the field in Orlando with the MLS is Back tournament. The tournament will begin July 8 and run for a span of 35 days.
In the wake of the ongoing border restrictions and quarantine requirements, the LPGA Tour announced that The Evian Championship won't take place in 2020. The event will return in 2021.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske only wants the 2020 Indianapolis 500 to occur if fans are allowed to attend. The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for August 23, Penske could move the iconic race back to October if fans can't attend in August.
New Zealand has announced that it is lifting all restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Going forward, fans will be allowed to attend games in an unrestricted fashion.
The NHL and NHLPA are finalizing the playoff format that will cap off the shortened 2019-20 season. All four playoff rounds will be a best-of-7 series and the play-in round will be a best-of-5 series. Following the conclusion of each round, the teams will be re-seeded.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the league will hold the NBA Draft Lottery on Aug. 25 and the NBA Draft will take place on Oct. 15.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA Board of Governors agreed to a plan that will allow the league to finish out the 2019-20 season in Orlando. The decision was met by a 29-1 vote and needed three-fourths of the owners' votes to pass. The NBA Players Association will hold a call on Friday to finalize the format, which will have 22 teams qualify for the postseason.
Cheyenne Frontier Days has been canceled for the first time in the event's 124-year history in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The event is the largest outdoor rodeo and was scheduled to run from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 26.
The 2019-2020 NHL regular season is officially over. On Tuesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that league will transition into a 24-team, conferenced-based playoff format when play resumes. He also announced and explained the specific details that the NHL will operate under once the playoffs begin.
World TeamTennis is set to play their three-week 2020 season in West Virginia in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The league will take place from July 12 to Aug. 1 in White Sulphur Springs.
The NHL has sent out a 29-page memo announcing that the league will be moving onto Phase 2 of its return to play plan in early June. A maximum of six players are allowed to work out at team facilities. Player workouts are voluntary and teams can't require players to return to playing cities as of right now.
The NHL is ready to move to Phase 2 of its return to play plan. Max 6 players at a time allowed to train at team facilities. No coaches or personnel allowed on ice. Player participation strictly voluntary — teams aren't allowed to require players to return to playing cities yet.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 25, 2020
The 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, originally scheduled to take place on Aug. 29 in Springfield, Mass., could be moved back to a later date once larger gatherings are allowed. The Hall of Fame is targeting Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 9-11) as a possible date, or even next spring if necessary. The 2020 Hall of Fame class has already been considered the best in history, and is headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings.
The NBA is reportedly in talks with Walt Disney Company about resuming the 2019-20 season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida in late July. The NBA's Board of Governors is reportedly set to hold a call on Friday, May 29, at which point some major decisions could be made.