Coronavirus is having a powerful effect on LGBTQ sporting events, including major championships.
The National Gay Flag Football League has already announced it will not host the Gay Bowl this year, set for October in Hawaii. It was set to be the 20th Gay Bowl.
“This decision, while difficult, is prudent,” NGFFL commissioner Thurman Williams said in a video statement.
On Facebook, the decision had widespread appreciation, as well as disappointment. Of course people want the event to happen, but they understand and agree with the decision.
NAGAAA, the national gay softball league, is moving forward with their intention to host the Gay Softball World Series in Columbus this August. They are in constant communication with city officials, member leagues and sponsors, and if plans change they will make that widely known on social media. The event attracts over 200 teams annually.
ASANA, which organizes softball and football tournaments for LGBTQ women, is currently moving forward with their events, which are set to take place in Virginia Beach in September.
The Bingham Cup, the LGBTQ rugby championship that takes place every two years in honor of gay rugger Mark Bingham, has also announced the event is currently postponed until 2022. It will take place in Ottawa, Canada.
“The postponement is an important measure which contributes to our collective efforts to reduce the spread and negative impact of COVID-19,” the Bingham Cup organizing committee said in a statement.
The North American Gay Volleyball Association was set to host its championships in Las Vegas in late May. That won’t be happening.
“The Convention Center hall where we would be hosting our event is being taken over by city and state officials,” NAGVA president Lew Smith said in a written statement. “While we originally wanted to wait and see how the COVID-19 landscape was unfolding, the forced cancelation has tipped our hand.”
The National Gay Basketball Association has seen virtually all of its 2020 events canceled, and they are looking ahead to celebrating together next year at the 30th anniversary of the historic Coady Roundball Classic in Chicago.
“The NGBA is looking forward celebrating the simple act of players being able to take the court after this unprecedented life time event,” NGBA president Mark Chambers said.
The New York City Gay Hockey Association canceled its popular Chelsea Challenge in what also would have been the 20th incarnation of the event.
“Our community bonds persist and LGBTQ+ hockey will return stronger than ever when this crisis has passed,” said the NYCGHA in a written statement. “We are hard at work planning future events, on and off the ice, and cannot wait to lace up with all of you in the near future.”
The Gay and Lesbian Tennis Association has put every tournament on hold and is taking the lead of the USTA.
“As a global organization with 80 annual events, the impact varies based on geographic location but our organization is following the recommendation of the United States Tennis Association and we’re take a ‘collective pause’ from tennis,” said GLTA president Dan Merrithew.
The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association is getting creative with how they approach events in 2020. The soccer organization is hosting a “virtual world championship.” That should be interesting.
“Matches will be simulated on a popular computer game, with full match reports provided,” IGLFA said on their website.
The next in-person IGLFA championship is scheduled for 2021.
IGLA, the international swimming and diving group, hosted its championships in Melbourne in February ahead of the pandemic outbreak.
The two major LGBTQ multisport events — Sin City Classic and the Gay Games — have not announced any changes to their events, though there’s. no need for a decision at this time. The Sin City Classic isn’t set to take place until next January, and the Gay Games aren’t until 2022. With the Gay Games taking place in Hong Kong, it will be interesting to see how events of the last year — massive Hong Kong protests and the coronavirus — affect the next Gay Games.
Outsports will stay on top of the latest from the big national and international LGBTQ sports events.