Richmond, Va. – Thursday it was announced that the VHSL would be cancelling the 2019-2020 basketball state championships at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va due to safety precautions surrounding the Coronavirus.
The tournament began Thursday morning and was able to get through two games before ultimately cancelling the rest.
"We reassessed, nobody kind of saw the avalanche that was coming," Associate Director of VHSL Tom Dolan said. "Obviously overnight, we began having the new issues coming up. As we went through the day, we felt like we could play the others with some modifications."
The original modification was to finish Thursday's game and cancel the remainder of the tournament.
"Then as the day went on, it just deteriorated. Then when the governor finally said state of emergency, that was pretty much it."
Dolan said in situations like this, the decision does not come from one person.
"There were a number of people that got the opportunity to weigh in and help us out with the situations. We also talked to our legal team about where we stood from the standpoint of comfort, liability. It was the right thing to do."
The VHSL has decided instead of vacating titles for this year, the teams left will be co-champions.
"Co-champions is not unusual," Dolan said. "There have been co-champions that have been determined in play. We're just glad we got to this level. It's not unheard of but still, everybody wants to sell it on the court. They don't want it this way."
“I feel really bad for the athletes, I hope they’re coming back in 15-20 years and saying, ‘you know you really cheated us.’ That they’re able to do that., as opposed to letting them play and someone having a catastrophic incident based on the fact we played a game over a health concern.”
In Class 2 action, the Gate City girls and John Marshall boys were victorious in state finals.