CMSA suspends all game play, events through at least May 9

Tue. March 17, 2020 1:38 PM by Ross Forman

The Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA) announced Tuesday that is expanding its suspending all game play through at least May 9, as well as team practices or social events, in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

CMSA, the predominantly-LGBT sports association, first announced March 12 that it was suspending games and events through March 20.

"We are following the CDC guidance asking for no large events of more than 50 people for 8 weeks," said CMSA president Matt Herek. "CMSA will follow guidance from all appropriate authorities. It's hard not knowing for sure, but we have a social responsibility to follow every guideline given to us."

Herek said CMSA plans to reassess May 9 in mid-April, or sooner if the guidance changes – and any CMSA meeting it holds will be conducted virtually. "Additionally, we need to consider the timing of a 'safe and successful season. We would much rather be ready and not go, then go and not be ready," he said.

Herek confirmed that multiple seasons were ended Monday night, March 16. Those being basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, badminton, and pool. "Most of these sports were into their playoffs and championships and would have concluded around this time anyway," he added.

CMSA' indoor soccer league, which is now in-season, is considering suspending play and resuming after May 9, but it will depend on the availability of space and how it aligns with the CMSA outdoor soccer league that is scheduled to start in June.

In addition:

- Registration is now open for a few sports, such as flag football, women's softball and open Sunday softball. "We promise 100 percent refunds, if a sport does not play," Herek said. CMSA will not be opening registration for such summer sports as beach volleyball, Ultimate, kickball and outdoor soccer, yet. "We do continue planning for them though, in the hopes that we can be ready to get back on the fields in June and July," he said.

- CMSA is considering an esports event, where players would play from their homes.

- CMSA's Hall of Fame celebration, set for April 25, also has been rescheduled for later this year. "A celebration should take place when people are in the mood to celebrate," said Herek, one of six inductees this year. He is joined by honorees Joe Cappelletti, Courtney E. Roberts, Felipe Rojas, Matt Simpson and Roadhouse 66 Gas N' Grill (sponsor).

- The CMSA board of directors approved the establishment of a hardship fund to help keep athletes engaged with the league during the crisis. "We have a committee creating the structure for the fund and plan on making an appeal to members to also contribute to it. We do not want to lose any athletes from the field due to their financial situation," Herek said.

When asked about Chicago's gay bars and restaurants, which are a key part and partner of CMSA, Herek said: "We value our relationships ...They have supported us and we are figuring out the ways we can support them right now and can bolster them in the future. I would say right now, where available, we need our members to order delivery from those establishments once or twice a week if they are able."

- More than $500 has already been received in pledges for the hardship fund, in addition to the $2,500 that the board allocated from CMSA funds.

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