This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Newton Kansan online at https://www.thekansan.com/subscribenow.


KSHSAA suspends spring activities


TOPEKA — The Kansas State High School Activities Association has suspended all member high school and middle school practices and competitions from March 16 through 22.


According to the statement from the KSHSAA, "This prohibition is consistent with KSDE and governmental guidance and may be extended, should conditions warrant. Please note spring sports team members are prohibited from club or outside team participation and practice during this period. Not only would such outside participation be contrary to handbook rule, it would be contrary to the very reason activities are canceled during the time we seek to mitigate potential transfer of the contagion."


NJCAA cancels all activities


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The National Junior College Athletic Association has canceled all sports competitions for the remainder of the year.


The directive includes those sponsored by the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Athletic Association, of which Hesston College is a member.


The directive also includes the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championships, which was scheduled to begin this week at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.


That tournament was later postponed until April and is now canceled.


"In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year," said Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President and CEO. "As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes."


Spring sport athletes will not be charged with a year of participation.


All on- and off-campus recruiting is suspended until April 15, "with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time."


The NJCAA also will determine at a future date, the status of letters of intent for spring sports athletes in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.


Spring sports at Hesston College include men’s baseball, women’s softball, men’s and women’s track and men’s golf.


The baseball team ends the season 8-11 with 36 regular-season games yet to be played.


The softball team finishes the season 9-11, 2-0 in conference play, with 38 regular-season games yet to be played. The softball team entered the season as defending Jayhawk Conference co-champions.


The golf team had one competition completed with four tournaments scheduled.


The track team had yet to open the season.


ECHL cancels 19-20 season


PRINCETON, N.J. — The ECHL announced Saturday that the remainder of the season, including the playoffs, have been canceled.


Earlier last week, the league announced the suspension of the season because of concerns of the COVID-19 virus.


"The decision by the ECHL to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 Season does not come lightly, as this is an emotional time for our players, coaches, member teams, fans and staff," ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin said. "At this point in the season, there has been immense dedication and countless hours committed in moving towards what is traditionally the most exciting part of the hockey year. With that said, however, as each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of those in the ECHL community and as we take precautionary measures in conjunction with our local authorities across the continent to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has become apparent that this is the prudent decision. Our game and our product are based on our fans and their ability to cheer on their favorite ECHL team and players at one of our many facilities around the continent. Without that social environment and game atmosphere, the ECHL simply isn't the same."


The Wichita Thunder is a member of the league. The team will issue more information in coming days for current ticket holders.


The team had 10 games remaining in the season, including a seven-game home stand.