The 2021 N.C.A.A. girls’s basketball event will probably be held in a single area in hopes that decreased journey will restrict the unfold of the coronavirus throughout the 64 groups anticipated to play, the Division I Girls’s Basketball Committee introduced Monday, mirroring the format set final month for the boys’s competitors.
In its announcement, the committee stated it was nonetheless finalizing dates and venues, however that it was in preliminary talks with officers within the space surrounding San Antonio to host the 63-game event in late March and early April.
“Conducting the championship in a single geographic area permits for extra planning and execution of safeguards that present potential advantages for selling the well being and security of student-athletes, the N.C.A.A. membership and all people concerned within the championship,” Nina King, chair of the committee and a senior deputy athletic director at Duke, stated within the announcement.
Usually first- and second-round video games are hosted by 16 groups throughout the US based mostly on seeding. From there, the event feeds into regional websites and culminates within the Closing 4 at one location. Earlier than Monday’s announcement, regional host websites had been declared for Albany, N.Y.; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; and Spokane, Wash. San Antonio was already designated to host the Closing 4 within the Alamodome. The change would place all rounds in Texas, if these plans are finalized.
Texas has not been exempt from the rising virus instances throughout the U.S. in current weeks, including a mean of 12,515 instances per day over the past week — a rise of 18 % from the typical two weeks earlier, in line with information compiled by The New York Instances. Bexar County, the place San Antonio is, has had one of many highest every day averages of latest instances among the many state’s counties over the previous seven days, in line with the identical information.
“We have been already getting ready to host an incredible Girls’s Closing 4; the chance to develop a plan for internet hosting all 64 groups is each thrilling and a fantastic alternative for our native financial system,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio stated within the information launch.
The N.C.A.A. introduced final month that the 68-team Division I males’s basketball event would even be held in a single area and that it was in preliminary talks with officers in Indianapolis, the place the N.C.A.A. is headquartered, to host the occasion. The 2020 Division I basketball tournaments have been among the many first main sporting occasions within the U.S. to be canceled because the pandemic escalated within the nation in March.
Lynn Holzman, vice chairman for ladies’s basketball on the N.C.A.A., stated in an announcement that the group would work to create “a particular championship expertise” on the event for all 64 groups in “the most secure attainable setting for school athletes and officers.”