While we wait on pins and needles for news of Natsu basho, a number of amateur sumo tournaments have already been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. I feel particularly bad for amateur athletes during these difficult times. Not only top-level Olympic athletes but every day amateurs have had to forgo many athletic pursuits for the foreseeable future while the world awaits a vaccine (or herd immunity). In this age of social distancing and virtual happy hours, there is still some golf and running…but no spectators and no teams, certainly nothing organized. So many amateurs who train for months or even years for these big events are out of luck. Possibly even more tragically, there’s no recreational soccer, kickball, or Frisbee golf.
- March 21-22: 71st National High School Invitational
- April 12: 8th International Women’s Invitational
- April 29: 37th All Japan University Invitational
- May 3: 60th National University Invitational
- May 24: 58th University and Businessperson Invitational
- May 24: 104th High School Sumo Tournament
- May 30: 30th University and Adult Invitational
- June 14: 6th National Women’s Invitational
- June 28: 49th Western Japan Businessperson Championship
- May 9: 71st East Japan Newbie University Championship*
- May 10: 70th West Japan Newbie University Championship*
- May 17: 2nd All Japan Individual Weight Class Championship
- May 31: 99th Eastern Japan University Championship
- June 7: 94th Western Japan University Championship
*I think it’s kind of cool that sumo n00bs (新人) get their own tournaments.
The Eastern and Western Japan University Championships, both for n00bs and vets, are postponed until at least July. At least the door is still cracked open for some of these tournaments. It is a definite challenge to find some steady source of recreation with these shelter-in-place orders in effect for so many people. Gyms are closed, parks are closed or under curfew, leagues and camps are postponed/cancelled, and alcohol can now be delivered to the home — so I hope you all are able to find some sort of recreation and socialization. Your correspondent is lucky to have a garden…which will be extremely well-tended this year.