Minor League Sports

USHL and IFL suspend seasons, MiLB delays start of its due to coronavirus

Cedar Rapids RoughRiders goalie Derek Mullahy (35) tries to block a shot on goal during a USHL game against the Des Moin
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders goalie Derek Mullahy (35) tries to block a shot on goal during a USHL game against the Des Moines Buccaneers at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Saturday, January 11, 2020. (Cliff Jette/Freelance for The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic has now hit three sports teams representing the Cedar Rapids community.

The United States Hockey League announced Thursday it is suspending play until further notice. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are a member.

The Riders had 15 remaining regular-season games remaining, including a home-and-home series with Des Moines this weekend.

“The USHL announced Thursday its decision to suspend game play effective immediately and until further notice,” the USHL said in a statement. “The decision was unanimously made by the USHL Board of Directors with the best interest of USHL athletes, staff, officials and fans in mind.

“In addition, all hockey activities, including practices, workouts and meetings have also been suspended until further notice. The league continues to closely monitor the situation and will use this hiatus to determine next steps regarding the 2019-20 season.”

Additionally Thursday, Major League Baseball announced it is suspending all operations effective immediately. Minor League Baseball released a statement saying the start of its 2020 season correspondingly was being delayed.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels were scheduled to begin their Midwest League season April 9 at Kane County with the home opener scheduled for April 13 against Wisconsin.

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“In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season,” a statement from MiLB said. “We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”

The Indoor Football League has suspended its season as well. The Cedar Rapids River Kings are a member.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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