Effect of COVID-19 on the 2019-20 season
The outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the United States affected many tournaments during the 2020 season. Nearly every state tournament was cancelled, with the exception of a few select tournaments that had already occurred. Many Science Olympiad organizations released statements on the matter prior to cancellation. Most states that initially chose not to cancel their state or regional tournaments later reversed their decision, although a few of the earliest tournaments simply added restrictions to those tournaments or held the tournaments as planned.
The first state to cancel a regional was the Northwest Washington Regional on March 4, approximately one week before the National tournament announced the cancellation. The first state to cancel a state tournament was Southern California, on March 6. After this time, state and regional tournaments began to cancel increasingly rapidly throughout the nation. Originally, there was a significant amount of confusion on how bids would be allocated for tournaments with cancelled state tournaments. On March 8, New York Science Olympiad announced they would not be sending teams to the National Tournament, with Southern California following suit one day later.
On March 11, the 2020 national tournament was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19 per social media posts by the Science Olympiad Alumni Network. The posts also announced that the events of the 2021 season would now instead be the same as those of the 2020 season, a remark which has caused various amounts of support and backlash. Following this announcement, almost all state and regional tournaments were cancelled. Connecticut maintained that its state tournament would be postponed until mid-May even after the national tournament was cancelled, although this was reversed at a later date.
Throughout the outbreak, the national Science Olympiad organization proactively provided guidance to state and tournament directors with recommendations to follow the advice of health authorities and prioritize the "health and safety of all involved," sample statements for possible cancellation scenarios, and updates from the national level, sent on February 28, March 5, and March 11.
- Tennessee cancels its state tournament. Source
- Delaware's Division B and Division A tournaments have been cancelled (exact date when cancellation occurred not known). Source
- Minnesota announces the cancellation of the Division B state tournament, with hopes of rescheduling. Source
- Idaho cancels all remaining tournaments, which includes the St. Ignatius Mini-Invite, the Eastern Idaho Regional, and the Idaho state tournament. Source
- Science Olympiad Inc. releases the following statement:
Even More Important - Your Health!
During this global COVID-19 pandemic, please take care of yourself, your family and those around you. Health is a priority. If you have the ability, please consider helping those in need in your community - we can all get through this together. We are going to need each other. As of 3/14/20, we can confirm that nearly every state has officially cancelled all Science Olympiad events; only three events remain.
- At the time of the statement, it is not known whether the three remaining state tournaments will cancel.
- North Dakota cancels their state tournament along with the Minot Regional. Source
- Louisiana cancels their Region II regional tournament at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Source
- Nebraska cancels their Henry Doorly Zoo Regional at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Source
- Oregon announces the cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- Pennsylvania cancels both their state and regional tournaments.
- South Dakota officially cancels their state tournament. Source
- Nebraska cancels state tournament. Source
- Hawaii cancels their state tournament as announced by the state director. Source
- Kansas cancels their state tournament as per an email by the state director.
- Arkansas releases a statement announcing the cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- South Carolina announces the cancellation of its Division B and C state tournaments. Source
- Massachusetts cancels their Div. C state tournament. Source
- Michigan state tournament has been cancelled. Source 1, Source 2
- Colorado cancels both divisions of its State tournament Source
- District of Columbia cancels both divisions of its tournament. Source
- Texas cancels both divisions of its tournament per an email from the Texas state director.
- Oklahoma cancels its state tournament Source
- Missouri updates its status on the State tournament, stating that a decision will be made by Thursday afternoon. Source
- Alabama cancels both divisions of the state tournament per an email from the state director.
- Wisconsin cancels both division of its state tournament. Source
- Illinois cancels Rock Valley regional. Source
- Tennessee releases a statement that they are monitoring the situation. Source
- North Dakota cancels the Bismarck Regional and Valley City Regional tournaments at Bismarck State College and Valley City State University. Source
- Nevada cancels their state tournament, following recommendations from the national organization. Source
- Washington cancels their state tournament. Source
- Science Olympiad notifies state directors of the decision to cancel the National Tournament at North Carolina State, a decision made following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University with a focus on the health and safety of students, teachers, coaches, supervisors, officials, key personnel, and volunteers. Science Olympiad recommends cancelling all elementary, Division B and C qualifying tournaments on a "forward-going basis." Source Official Source Twitter Source
- Louisiana announces the cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- Nevada announces that State tournament will continue as scheduled, but the awards ceremony has been cancelled. Awards will be mailed to teams. [Source ?]
- Massachusetts announces the cancellation of its B Div State tournament [Source ?]
- Oregon releases a statement saying that they are monitoring the situation. No tournaments are currently cancelled. Source
- New Hampshire announces the cancellation of its state tournament. Source
- Maryland state tournament is officially declared to be cancelled. Source
- This comes after Johns Hopkins University, host of the Maryland state tournament, who released a statement saying they are moving to online classes through at least April 12. Alongside that, Johns Hopkins is also discouraging any sort of non-essential university activities or events. Source pt. 1 Source pt. 2 Source pt. 3
- Connecticut decides to instead postpone both the Div B and Div C state tournaments til a later date. Source Raw Source
- Virginia's state board announces that they are considering their options due to UVA, host of the Virginia State Tournament, banning events on the campus. Source UVA Source
- Illinois announces the CPS/IIT Regional, Belleville East Regional, and College of DuPage Regional will be cancelled due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago suburbs. Source Raw Source
- University of Illinois, later on, released a mass mail saying they will move to online classes and that activities with more than 50 people will be prohibited. Source
- Hawaii announces that its State tournament will continue as scheduled, as per an email sent by the state director.
- Kansas's state director announces to coaches that the State tournament will continue as scheduled as long as the host does not make any changes. Source
- Florida announces that their state tournament is cancelled. Source
- California (South) announces cancellation of their regional tournament in San Diego. Source
- Georgia announces cancellation of the state tournament in both divisions. Source
- Utah announces cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- Idaho announces it is following the COVID-19 situation. Their state tournament is currently still planned. Source
- California (North) announces cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- Rhode Island announces the cancellation of their state tournament. Source
- South Dakota releases a statement to coaches that a decision regarding the State tournament is pending. Source
- Arizona officially cancels their State tournament. Source
- Wisconsin tweets another update stating that no decision has yet to be made. Source
- Maine cancels their State tournament. Source
- North Carolina announces the cancellation of its remaining regional Division A, B and C tournaments along with the state tournaments. SourceTwitter Source
- Southeast Pennsylvania Regional North is cancelled Source
- Ohio cancels all remaining regional tournaments as well as the Division B and C state finals Source
- Indiana cancels its state tournament with no possibility of a reschedule. Source
- This comes after Purdue University, the host for the state tournament, has announced that all events involving external visitors have been suspended until May 2. Source
- New York announces that the Mid-Hudson and Mid-Western regionals are cancelled. Source
- A statement from a Maryland coach says that the state tournament is cancelled with there presumably being no rescheduling. Source
- While this was an unofficial announcement, Maryland later on officially proceeded to cancel the state tournament on March 11.
- New Jersey successfully hosts its state tournament for both divisions with no award ceremony. Source
- Florida releases another announcement indicating that the tournament is continuing, although some preventative measures will be taken. Source (Overridden March 11)
- Wisconsin sends an email to coaches saying that they are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. As of this date, the State tournament is scheduled to continue, however, this may change at any time. Source
- Pennsylvania announces:
- New Jersey announces that the state tournament will proceed as scheduled, though the awards ceremony has been cancelled. Source
- Connecticut announces that the Division B state tournament will not be held. Source (Overridden March 11)
- California (South) announces that it will not send any teams to the National tournament. Source
- Vermont announces that the state tournament will be cancelled: Source
- Washington announces cancellation of the Division B Northwest Washington Regional. Source
- New York announces: Source
- The Division C state tournament is cancelled due to the host venue's request
- The Division B state tournament is cancelled in expectation of a worsening situation
- The Mid-Hudson and Mid-Western Division B regionals are currently set to take place as scheduled. (Overridden March 10)
- The Lower Hudson Division B regional is postponed indefinitely
- NY has informed the national organization that they will not be sending teams to the National Tournament.
- Pennsylvania cancels the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional for both Division B and Division C. Rescheduling is planned within two months. Source
- Indiana indicates that the state tournament is scheduled to run as planned. Source (Overridden March 10)
- Florida indicates that as of the time of that writing the FL state tournament is planned to take place as scheduled. Source (Overridden March 11)
- Maine indicates that as of the time of writing, the Maine state tournament is still planned to take place. Source
- Illinois indicates at the time of writing that all state competitions are planned to take place as scheduled and that they are monitoring the situation. Source
- Iowa successfully completes both divisions of their State tournament, with Ames Middle School winning the B Division and Ames High School winning the C Division. Source
- Delaware successfully completes its Division C State tournament, with Charter School of Wilmington winning the division.
- Minnesota successfully completes its Division C State tournament, with Wayzata High School winning the division.
- California (South) announces that it will not hold its state tournament after recommendations from the Caltech administration. Source
- North Carolina announces that they are monitoring the situation but at the time of writing have no plans of cancelling the NC state tournament or National Tournament through a statement on the NCSO website. Source
- Virginia's state director emails coaches saying that VASO plans to follow UVA policies regarding COVID-19 and the state tournament. Source
- Science Olympiad provides guidance to state directors and tournament directors in the event of cancellations either by the host or by decision of tournament organizers, providing sample statements in their correspondence. Science Olympiad continues to recommend monitoring local situations and considering "health and safety of all involved." Science Olympiad acknowledges they are considering "how these scenarios affect the decision to move forward with the 2020 Science Olympiad National Tournament." Source
- West Virginia successfully completes its Division C State tournament.
- The Science Olympiad organization notifies state directors and tournament officials via email that the national organization is monitoring the COVID-19 situation. They recommended following the advice of state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the "safety of students and volunteers." Source
- Missouri announces that they are monitoring the situation but at the time of writing the MO state tournament is planned to take place as scheduled. This announcement was made on the front page of their StateScioly page.
List of affected tournaments
|State||Level||Name||Status||Division||Planned Date||Announcement Date||Notes|
|California (North)||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/18/20||3/11/20|
|R||Santa Clara Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/28/20|
|California (South)||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/4/20||3/6/20|
|R||Inland Empire Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20|
|San Diego Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20|
|District of Columbia||S||District Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/12/20|
|Connecticut||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B||3/14/20||3/9/20 (Cancelled), 3/11/20||Postponed until Mid-May|
|C||4/4/20||3/11/20 (Postponed)||Postponed until Mid-May|
|Florida||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/7/20, 3/10/20|
|Hawaii||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/4/20||3/11/20 (Continuing), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|Idaho||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/18/20||3/11/20 (Continuing), 3/14/20 (Cancelled)|
|I||St. Ignatius Mini-Invite||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/14/20|
|Eastern Idaho Regional||Cancelled||B||4/4/20||3/14/20|
|R||CPS (at IIT) Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20||3/11/20|
|Belleville East Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20||3/11/20|
|College of DuPage Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20|
|Rock Valley College Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20|
|Indiana||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/8/20 (Continuing), 3/10/20 (Cancelled)|
|Maine||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/4/20||3/7/20 (Continuing), 3/11/20 (Cancelled)|
|R||Region 7 Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/12/20|
|Region 8 Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/28/20||3/12/20|
|Region 9 Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/28/20||3/12/20|
|Region 12 Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/28/20||3/12/20|
|Minnesota||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B||4/4/20||3/15/20||No timetable given for re-schedule|
|Missouri||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/4/20||2/28/20 (Continuing), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|North Carolina||N||2020 National Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||5/16/20||3/11/20||Rules will be replayed for next year|
|North Carolina||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/25/20||3/6/20 (Continuing), 3/11/20 (Cancelled)|
|North Dakota||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/18/20||3/13/20|
|Valley City Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/26/20||3/12/20|
|New Hampshire||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/11/20|
|New Jersey||S||State Tournament||Completed||B/C||3/10/20||3/9/20||No awards ceremony, awards mailed instead|
|Nevada||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/11/20 (Continuing), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|New York||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B||4/17/20||3/8/20|
|R||Mid-Hudson Regional||Cancelled||B||3/14/20 (B)||3/8/20 (Continuing), 3/10/20 (Cancelled)|
|Midwestern Regional||Cancelled||B||3/14/20 (B)||3/8/20 (Continuing), 3/10/20 (Cancelled)|
|Lower Hudson Regional||Cancelled||B||3/7/20 (B)||3/8/20|
|R||Eastern Ohio Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20||3/10/20|
|Central Ohio Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/14/20||3/10/20|
|Western Ohio Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/10/20|
|Oregon||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/18/20||3/11/20 (Continuing), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|R||Northwest Pennsylvania Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/10/20||3/9/20|
|Central East Pennsylvania Regional||Cancelled||C||3/11/20||3/9/20|
|Northeast Pennsylvania Regional||Cancelled||B/C||3/11/20||3/8/20 (Reschedueling), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|Southeast Pennsylvania Regional North||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/11/20|
|Rhode Island||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/18/20||3/11/20|
|South Carolina||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/12/20|
|South Dakota||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/21/20||3/11/20 (Pending), 3/12/20 (Cancelled)|
|Tennessee||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||4/25/20||3/12/20 (Continuing), 3/16/20 (Cancelled)|
|Virginia||S||State Tournament||Cancelled||B/C||3/28/20||3/6/20 (Continuing), 3/11/20 (Rescheduling), 3/11/20 (Cancelled)||Cancelled shortly after the National Tournament was cancelled.|
|Washington||R||Northwest Washington Regional||Cancelled||C||3/7/20||3/4/20|
Frequently Asked Questions
Please do not answer questions based on speculation. All claims should be verifiable through a credible source.
- Will my state's tournaments be rescheduled?
- Each state differs by its response to tournament cancellations. Please check your state's official Science Olympiad website and with your regional or state directors for information about tournaments in your state.
- Will the national tournament be cancelled?
- The national tournament director has stated the tournament is now cancelled. Source
- Will the national tournament be rescheduled?
- It was not rescheduled.
- Will 9th graders next year be allowed to participate in Division B in 2021?
- 9th grade students were allowed to continue participating in Division B in 2021.