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NAIA cancels winter championship events, including Billings tournament

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Posted at 11:16 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 13:16:52-04

KANSAS CITY, MO — Joining the fray of conferences and organizations across the country, the NAIA announced on Thursday morning it will cancel the remainder of its winter championship events, including the Division I men's basketball tournament in Kansas City and women's DI tournament in Billings.

The NAIA announced its brackets for the men's and women's tournament on Wednesday and announced late in the afternoon it would limit attendance at its winter championships, which also include the inaugural men's and women's bowling championships. But the growing threat and concern over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) led to the complete cancellation of the championship events.

ADVERTISING"The health and safety or our student-athletes, as well as all involved in our championship events, is the NAIA's highest priority," the NAIA said in a release Thursday morning. "We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and NAIA leadership will work closely with our member institutions to determine the best path forward for future NAIA events, including all spring 2020 championships."

The announcement comes on the heels of multiple NCAA conferences across the country canceling or postponing their own tournaments, including the Big Sky Conference championships in Boise, where the Montana State men and women and Montana men were still competing.