WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s upcoming high school basketball and hockey tournaments will be played, but with one exception — there won’t be any spectators in the stands.
The R.I. Interscholastic League (RIIL) put out a notice Thursday that out of an abundance of caution, only players, coaches and essential staff will be allowed at the games.
“During these difficult times, the RIIL is committed to allowing teams to finish out their seasons,” the notice read. “Our students have worked very hard and we owe this to them.”
The announcement came amid a flurry of other sports-related cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus.
“Our fans and community support are an essential part of the high school experience; however, in light of the recommendations and the conditions existing in our country, we ask for everyone’s patience, cooperation and understanding,” the notice continued.
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Schools will be notified about which individuals qualify as “essential personnel,” according to RIIL.
The boys basketball quarterfinals will be played Saturday at Rhode Island College, then all semifinal and final rounds will be held at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus: basketball at the Ryan Center and hockey at Boss Arena. Visit RIIL’s website for updates on the schedule of events.
The RIIL said due to the spectator restrictions, it will effort to live-stream the games on the NFHS Network.