WNBA officially pushes back start date of 2020 season

14 Juillet, 2020, 02:11 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion

"As developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the social distancing guidelines in the United States through April 30, the WNBA will postpone the start of its training camps and tip of the regular season originally scheduled for May 15", Engelbert said.

Engelbert said last week that she thought the WNBA, as a smaller league, could be more "agile" with regard to schedule changes or anything else needed to start playing again. The WNBA draft will be a virtual event this year.

The April 17 draft will go on as scheduled, but fans, players and team staff won't be gathered together. Training camps were to open on April 26 and the regular season on May 15.

"Our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees", Engelbert stated. Chennedy Carter of Texas A&M, Satou Sabally of OR and Megan Walker of CT are the big-name juniors to leave school for the WNBA.

While other domestic sports leagues at all levels suspended, postponed or canceled seasons and competitions as the threat of the virus escalated, the WNBA waited to announce its decision.

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Every other major sports league has been put on hold due to the virus. The league had been set to go on break for almost a month to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed to 2021.

"We will get through this hard time together and look forward to seeing our fans and defending our championship as soon as safely possible", Mystics General Manager and Coach Mike Thibault said.

Engelbert said that whenever the WNBA does start, it will follow a strict protocol regarding the health and well-being of players, coaches and fans. New York City, where the WNBA league offices are located, is the epicenter with more than 2,900 deaths.

"We are grateful for the front line workers who are courageously combating [the coronavirus]", Valavanis said. One of the Seattle Storm's properties for the season, the Angel of the Winds Arena, is getting used as a coronavirus isolation web site.

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