The 80th Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational, which was scheduled to take place on March 20-21, has been postponed due to ongoing developments with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to the fluidity of this world health crisis and changes that are happening on the hour, the Nike Chandler Rotary is going to postpone next week’s meet,” meet director Dave Shapiro wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “During the upcoming week we will be looking to gather more information and hope to look at the feasibility of other dates.”
As the coronavirus pandemic worsened over the course of the last week in the United States, several out of state teams began dropping out of the meet due to travel restrictions imposed by school administrators. The number of teams committed to participating in the meet was at 144 as of Friday but was expected to drop following an announcement by Tempe Union High School District officials that schools would be closed effective Monday, March 16.
The district also announced its athletic teams would not be able to practice or compete in any events during the closure.
Tempe Union’s announcement came a day after Dysart Unified School District announced it would suspend athletic competitions until March 27. Friday, along with Tempe Union, Valley Christian and all American Leadership Academy campuses announced it would also close schools and suspend athletics.
Restrictions were put in place for this year's Chandler Rotary, including the decision to not allow fans to watch the event from the stands of Chandler High School.
But as other high schools, colleges and professional sports have been canceled across the country, Shapiro felt it was best to postpone the event in hopes of being able to reschedule for a later date.
“We do not wish to cancel,” Shapiro wrote, “but for the health and safety of all involved we believe it is best to postpone at this time. We will be reaching out to all of you sometime some time towards the end of next week to give you more information.”