NWBA calls off junior tournament, adult championships roll on
A portion of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) championships in Wichita, Kansas, is now part of the growing list of sports events to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The NWBA issued a press release Wednesday night announcing it was canceling the Junior Nationals tournament, but the adult tournament would move forward and begin today (March 11). The NWBA said in its press release that many junior teams hadn’t yet arrived in Wichita and its board of directors believed that canceling the event was best, given “the escalated risk and restrictions on travel.”
The cancellation in the Junior Nationals affects the Prep, Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions. The event will not be rescheduled, and the final rankings for the Prep and Varsity divisions will stand as the outcome for the 2019-2020 season.
“Our youth division is an incredible part of our organization, and we feel for our athletes who trained all season to vie for a national title,” the NWBA said. “We know that they will have a long career within the NWBA, and we are excited to watch their progress and development in the near future.”
Meanwhile, the board decided the adult championships would continue since 46 of the 48 teams entered in the event were already in Wichita as of March 10. The adult championships are set to run March 12-15. No mention was made of the 2020 NWBA Toyota Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Championships set for March 27-79 in Phoenix. The NWBA is encouraging all teams to be safe and make decisions that are best for them.
“Any individual or team that is uncomfortable with competing has the right to withdraw from competition,” the NWBA said in its release. “We continue to strongly encourage all teams to practice good hygiene and precautionary measures by following the guidance in this link: nwba.org/responseoncoronavirus.
The NWBA said tournament entry fees wouldn’t be refunded, as their costs have already been incurred, and the association said teams should work directly with airlines and other providers to investigate opportunities to refund those expenses.
For more information, visit nwba.org.