Iowa Games cancels most 2020 summer events

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Taekwondo athletes warm up during the 2019 Iowa Games. — video still, 2019 Iowa Games Year in Review

Most of the events scheduled for the 2020 Summer Iowa Games have been canceled due to COVID-19, Iowa Games organizers announced on Tuesday.

“Due to the group gathering nature of this large-scale sports festival and social-distancing guidelines currently in place, the majority of the Summer Iowa Games have been cancelled for 2020,” Iowa Games said in a statement. “Athletes and participants are encouraged to follow the Iowa Games on social media, as virtual events may be offered this summer for some of the cancelled sports.”

“We could not justify holding the Games while putting our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff at risk,” Chuck Long, Iowa Games CEO/Executive Director, said.

The nonprofit Iowa Sports Foundation has held the Olympic-style Iowa Games each summer since 1987, as a way to encourage Iowans to engage in healthy activities. The games have grown from a single weekend of events to a sports festival for amateur athletes from school kids to senior citizens.

According the Iowa Games site, the following events are still scheduled to be held.

June 20: Whitewater Slalom

June 27/28 & July 11/12: Bowling Districts – rescheduled from June 6/7 & 13/14

July 11 – 12:

– Bocce

– Duathlon & Triathlon

– FootGolf

July 15 – 19:

– Disc Golf

– Golf – Juniors, Pee Wee, and 4 Person Best Shot

– Light Saber

– Sand Volleyball (Des Moines, IA)

– Water Skiing

July 25 – 26:

– 3D Archery

July 31 – August 2:

– Black Powder (Pistol)

– Cycling Time Trial

– Cycling Road Race

August 7 – 9:

– Big Fish Classic

– Black Powder (Rifle)

– Bowling Finals – rescheduled from July 18

– Bowling HS Team – rescheduled from July 17

– Hoover-Ball

August 15:

– Sand Volleyball (Marion, IA) – rescheduled from June 13

– Trapshooting – now a satellite shoot, not a finals event

September (dates TBD): Midnight Madness – rescheduled from July 11 (Likely will be a virtual event based on restrictions)

Social distancing and other precautions will be enforced at the events.

According to Iowa Games, staff members will contact registered participants regarding refunds of their fees.

The canceling of these events comes less than a week after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an order allowing school districts to carry on with their high school baseball and softball programs on June 1, as a first step in restarting sports in Iowa.

“High school athletics was the logical place to start the process of bringing athletics back in season,” Reynolds said when she announced decision last week. She added that the Iowa Department of Public Health is working with youth sports associations to develop a plan “to bring other sports opportunities back for the summer.”

Iowa is the only state that has interscholastic baseball and softball during the summer. Baseball and softball are among the sports the Iowa Games has canceled for 2020.

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