Shadajah Ballard (Western Branch - 2018) after successfully anchoring her relay team at NBNI
Just one day before nationals was set to be run, the NSAF announced that the 2020 New Balance Nationals are being cancelled due to concerns related to the spread and safety with the Coronavirus. This decision follows widespread cancellations of other major sporting events.
Similar track meets, AAU Indoor Nationals and others, have been cancelled as well. The NCAA Championships, also set for this weekend, are going to take place as planned but without any fans. That is a similar move to NCAA Basketball as well. This could not be done for NBNI since the vast majority of athletes are minors and would need parents/coaches present.
Here is the NSAF's press release:
The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) and its medical staff, led by Dr. Robert Jones and in direct discussion with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), have made the decision Wednesday night to cancel the 2020 New Balance Nationals Indoor (NBNI), which was to take place at The Armory this weekend, March 13-15.
"Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and out of concern for the safety of all athletes, coaches and families, we've decided it's in the best interest of all parties to cancel the meet," said NSAF and NBNI Meet Director Jim Spier. "It's the hardest decision we've ever had to make."
A full press release with more detailed information will be posted tomorrow. Please stay tuned and check back here at nationalscholastic.org for that and for information on the distribution of this year's NBNI backpacks.
MileStat Editor Nolan Jez's statement:
On a personal note, I want to say how bad I feel for all the athletes who trained so hard for this weekend and wanted to achieve their goals. Us Virginians know that Team VA was going to show out this weekend and that we would have had quite a few national champions. That being said, hopefully things can improve so that the outdoor season can happen without a hitch and that NBNO will be the best one yet.
Also, as the meet founder of the VA Showcase I have worked with the NSAF very closely for years, years before the meet even began. They have always been a huge help to our event and honestly probably one of the biggest advocates for our sport nationwide. Their events have raised the bar year after year and their proceeds from GAXC, NBNI, and NBNO have gone to supporting thousands of athletes, coaches, and community members. Just because a meet is big and successful does not mean they are not hosting the meet for the right reasons. Most of their staff volunteer hundreds of hours to make this event happen and this decision to cancel will be extremely tough on their organization that helps so many.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - Please follow CDC Guidelines as it relates to prevention, symptoms, and FAQ's regarding the Coronavirus. CDC WEBSITE