The Western Hockey League (WHL) is the latest sports league to suspend or press the pause button on its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHL commissioner Ron Robinson announced Thursday afternoon that the 2019/20 season will be paused until further notice.
“Following a conference call with the WHL Board of Governors, the Western Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 WHL season, effective immediately,” said Robison. “The WHL takes the safety of our players, officials, staff, fans, and everyone associated with the WHL very seriously. We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19. Our goal is to return to play when it is safe and reasonable to do so.
“We thank WHL fans and partners for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time.”
That means that the Vancouver Giants, who still hold practices at the Ladner Leisure Centre as well as have students attend school in the Delta School District, are also now in hiatus.
In a statement the Giants said they support the decision by the WHL as well as the Canadian Hockey League.
“The health and safety of our players, fans and staff remains our top priority,” said the Giants. “The Giants will continue to monitor the situation and will fully cooperate with local health authorities, while emphasizing the health and safety of players, staff and fans.
Vancouver Giants fans are encouraged to keep their tickets for upcoming games until more information is made available. The Giants will communicate additional information to ticket-holders as things progress.”
It was an unprecedented 24 hours in the global sports world as professional leagues announced the suspension of their seasons.
On Wednesday evening the NBA announced the suspension of its season with the NHL following suit late Thursday morning.
Major League Soccer, (MLS) which just opened its campaign two weeks ago, has shut down for at least the next month, while the National Lacrosse League has also shut down.
Major League Baseball (MLB) which is two weeks away from starting its season, shut-down spring training and will delay the opening of the season for at least two weeks.
The NCAA also announced it was cancelling its men’s and women’s basketball championships which were scheduled to start next week, while the World Women’s Curling championships, set to start Saturday in Prince George, has also been postponed.