BASKETBALL is the first sport in Ireland to suspend all competitions due to the Coronavirus.
Initially, it had been suggested that matches scheduled this weekend would be allowed to go ahead before the suspension of activity would kick in from next Monday. However, Basketball Ireland instead has urged "all affiliates to suspend all basketball competitions and events with immediate effect".
Earlier in the day, they had cancelled a planned overnight training camp in Gormanstown during the Easter holidays for the boys and girls in the U14 regional academies, which are run in Cork by Paul Kelleher and Francis O'Sullivan.
The governing body issued the edict on Wednesday evening urging the various bodies running basketball across the country to follow their lead.
This will impact all of the Cork basketball leagues from U12 up to the adult grade, that are now entering the latter stages ahead of the top-four playoffs.
There were three underage fixtures down for decision on Wednesday night, hosted by Ballincollig, Mallow and Skibbereen. They will be the last games played for the foreseeable future.
The prestigious Billy Kelly Tournament for U17s, which attracts clubs from all over the country every year, was also due to be held on the northside of the city in the coming weeks.
The latter stages of school competitions are now highly unlikely to be played for this season. Likewise the third-level varsities series.
Basketball Ireland had one last round of regular-season men's fixtures on the cards for this weekend, including a derby with Fr Mathew's hosting Tradehouse Central Ballincollig, who were one win away from the perfect 22-0 campaign having already landed the title to go with the President's Cup.
Pat Price's Tralee Warriors are at the summit of the Men's Super League, one win ahead of Belfast Star. They were set to come to Neptune Stadium this Saturday night where a win would have wrapped up the title.
The women's league concluded last weekend, with DCU Mercy crowned Super League queens and Trinity Meteors, led by Leesiders Edel Thornton and Sarah Kenny, lifting the Division 1 crown.
All the sections are followed by a play-off section for trophies that are separate from the leagues. The Mark Scannell-coached Ambassador Hotel UCC Glanmire were in the mix for silverware here.
The statement read: "Basketball Ireland continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team, the HSE, and the WHO.
"The health and safety of the Basketball Ireland community is our priority and we are determined to be proactive regarding precautions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
"Basketball Ireland is therefore instructing all affiliates to suspend all basketball competitions and events with immediate effect.
"We understand that this decision will result in inconvenience and disappointment to many players, coaches, officials, volunteers and supporters, particularly at this time when various competitions are reaching their concluding stages.
"However, we are sure that all will understand that the decision is taken in the best interests, not just of the basketball community, but also family, friends and the wider community.
"The situation is rapidly changing and we will continue to monitor developments on a day-to-day basis. Further updates will be issued on a regular basis over the coming weeks."