Coronavirus hits sport - What's still on?

World sport has almost shut down entirely due to the growing threat of coronavirus, but some competitions are attempting to fight through the pandemic. 

Round one went ahead as planned on the weekend and currently, the competition will continue into a second week.

But all games are being played behind closed doors, including the NZ Warriors, who have shifted from Auckland to the Gold Coast for their clash against the Canberra Raiders.

Super League 
Clubs will meet this week to discuss how the the English rugby league competitions respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

While much of the weekend's elite sport in Britain was postponed, Super League and Challenge Cup fixtures were played.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said they had "adhered to the guidelines" set out by the government in allowing games to go ahead.

There are currently no positive tests for the virus in rugby league, he said.

At this point, games will go ahead in front of supporters, although the British Government could intervene. 

ANZ Netball 
The competition is set to go ahead as planned. Games were played in front of supporters on the weekend, but that may not be the case moving forward.

The NZ Government's directive prohibiting gatherings of more than 500 people meant the Southern Steel-Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic fixture took place behind closed doors in Dunedin on Monday night. 


Israel Adesanya in action
Israel Adesanya in action Photo credit: Getty

Despite more obstacles being hurled in his way, UFC president Dana White insists the promotion's event schedule will persist in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

After UFC Brasilia took place without an audience, White appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter to address all the hurdles in front of the promotion, as it attempted to move forward with shows in the coming weeks.

"Unless there's a total shutdown of the country, where people can't leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen," White told ESPN. "We're gonna move on, these fights will happen. 

"These guys will compete. We will find venues and we will figure this thing out.

"I mean, the only thing that's gonna stop us is a complete government shutdown, where everybody is confined to their homes."

King in the Ring 
The next edition of the King in the Ring mixed martial arts event is still scheduled to take place from the Eventfinda Stadium on the North Shore 

City Kickboxing's Mike 'Blood' Diamond headlines a stacked card that also includes Mark Timms, a sparring partner of UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. 

Newshub understands organisers have a contingency plan, should they be forced to move the event from its current location. 


The Phoenix are unlikely to play in front of a home crowd again this season
The Phoenix are unlikely to play in front of a home crowd again this season Photo credit: Photosport

On Monday, Football Australia head James Johnson confirmed the league would continue behind closed doors. The Wellington Phoenix will be based in either Sydney or Melbourne, and are unlikely to play at home again this season.

Their two upcoming games will be rescheduled, as they self-isolate for two weeks, before resuming in the competition.  

Handa Premiership 
New Zealand's domestic football competition is scheduled to continue as planned.

PDC Darts
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is carrying as normal, although events have been rescheduled. 

The Premier League went ahead in Liverpool on Friday, as well as Players Championship events in Barnsley this weekend (no fans to attend), but European Tour competitions and the Premier League visit to Rotterdam have already been switched.

"It's obviously something that we were fully on top of and we issued precautionary measures with things like player interaction with fans during the walk-ons, how staff engaged with people and making sure that the venue were fully on top of there being right sanitisation provisions on site," said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

In 2018, the UK Open was played without fans, due to bad weather in the area.

DartPlayers New Zealand have postponed upcoming events in Queenstown, based on the advice from the Ministry of Health.

Horse Racing 
As it stands, all greyhound, harness and thoroughbred meets are scheduled to go on as planned this week.

The industry is set to re-evaluate its stance, should the Government put a cap on mass attendance at events. 


Coronavirus hits sport - What's still on?
Photo credit: WWE

Last week, World Wrestling Entertainment announced that it was preparing contingency plans for WrestleMania 36 - set for April 5 (NZ time) in Tampa, Florida - but remained committed to hosting the event at Raymond James Stadium, amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tampa area has witnessed confirmed cases of coronavirus, and both state and city officials have taken measures to limit large gatherings, but WrestleMania is still on for now. The city of Tampa has put a decision on whether to postpone or cancel the event in the hands of WWE.

While WWE may be in a holding pattern over its biggest event of the year, it's signature television programmes are being moved. Friday Night SmackDown, originally scheduled to air from Detroit, was moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. 

The same goes for Monday Night Raw, which was originally scheduled for Pittsburgh.

Pakistan Super League Cricket 
The PSL has scrapped its four-match playoff, turning the knockout stage into a two-day affair with semi-finals and a final, as the league copes with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

As many as 14 overseas players and an overseas coach are also leaving, because of the developments and fears over travel restrictions in Europe and Australasia.

NBL Basketball 
General manager Justin Nelson says , with sporting leagues and events being cancelled or suspended around the world, the NBL has chosen to be proactive in the hope of protecting the community.

The NBL will require all players arriving from overseas to self-isolate, due to the threat of coronavirus.

The NBL's major concern is that one positively tested team member would halt the league, particularly within the close-contact environment of a sport like basketball.

NZ Secondary Schools sport 
School Sport New Zealand is taking advice from the Ministry of Health and, as of Monday, its was still forging ahead with plans for their Summer Tournament programme, which kicks off next week. 

If any new information becomes available, School Sport New Zealand will re-evaluate its current position.