The tennis final in Europe was cut short by the surge in the coronavirus in Germany
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Germany’s recent escalation of coronavirus cases has prompted DODEA-Europe officials to cancel the season-ending tennis championships that were supposed to start Thursday.
The organization made the decision Tuesday afternoon after consultation with the US military command, athletics director Kathy Clemmons said.
“Of course, they were crushed,” said Clemmons of the initial reaction from the players and the coach.
He said military regulations prohibited official travel during the current troop protection conditions, so the three-day event scheduled in Wiesbaden could not take place as it would involve an overnight stay.
The DODEA-Europe cross-country championships can still be held on Saturdays as no overnight stay is required for the event. The location has been changed from its traditional home in Baumholder to Seewoog Park in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Ramstein’s home course.
“At the moment, the cross-country championships are still ongoing,” said Clemmons.
Clemmons said late Tuesday that at least four schools based in Germany had decided they could not participate in the event in Ramstein and a decision about the event would likely be made Wednesday morning.
Cross-country runners will participate in at least a virtual championship. Schools outside Germany have never competed against each other during a month-long shortened season and are still set to claim the title by running on their own base tracks and then comparing times online.
Clemmons said the virtual competition window had been changed. Teams can now compete from Saturday to October 31st. It takes into account factors such as bad weather or track availability on certain days.
“100 percent, we will have a virtual championship,” said Clemmons.
Likewise with cheerleading, where teams will appear on recordings at their local bases and submit results before October 28th. Judges in Germany and the United States will then review the performances and select the winners.
And DODEA-Europe’s newest sport, the European Athletics Fitness Games, will also have a new window to its championships. A maximum of three teams per school (boys, girls and girls) can compete in heptathlon style sports during the four-hour window between 29 October-October. 31.
The spread of the coronavirus wiped out the entire spring sports season in Europe and the Pacific earlier this year before the DODEA decided that autumn football and volleyball would also be canceled.
Basketball and wrestling won’t happen this winter, even though volleyball has been reintroduced as a winter sport. Most schools in the Pacific haven’t held any competitions during the fall and some may not play against each other depending on the pandemic and military posture.
Asked if there was any possibility of reviving tennis or other sports in the already busy schedule of traditional spring sports in 2021, Clemmons said it was too early to determine.
“I’m not even going to discuss spring sports now,” he said. “We’re going to get through this, take a few weeks off, see how the coronavirus situation is for the winter and get out of there.”
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