The concerns over the spread of the coronavirus has taken its toll on another major sporting event in the area during the spring.
The Ojai Tennis Tournament has been canceled. The tournament, one of the oldest in the coutnry, was scheduled for April 22-26.
The decision to cancel the event was made in a vote by the Ojai Valley Tennis Club board on Sunday.
This year would have been the 120th edition of The Ojai, which traditionally draws top tennis talent from the Santa Barbara area. The tournament serves as the men’s and women’s dual-match Pac-12 Championships, as well as other collegiate events, the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships, Boys’ CIF-Southern Section divisions, men’s and women’s open prize money events and junior divisions.
Ojai Valley Tennis Club President, Carolyn Burke, and Ojai Tennis Tournament Executive Director, Katrina Rice Schmidt, released a joint statement on the tournament’s cancellation:
“We deeply regret that we must cancel The Ojai Tennis Tournament,” the statement read. “This decision was made in the best interest of the health of the players, spectators, volunteers, and the residents of Ojai. We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel our tournament, but feel that the well-being of everyone involved is most important at this time. We wish you all well and look forward to bringing you The Ojai in 2021.”
The tournament, played at venerable Libbey Park and throughout West Ventura County, started in 1896, and has been played every year except for five years; once for the infectious hoof and mouth disease (1924) and four years during World War II (1943-46).
Other major events in the area during the spring sports season that have been canceled by the coronavirus pandemic include the Dos Pueblos Invitational boys volleyball tournament, the Santa Barbara Easter Relays track & field meet at SBCC (March 21) and the Sam Adams / Jim Klein Track & Field Combined-Events at Westmont College (April 19-21). The Santa Barbara High Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions boys volleyball tournament (April 17-18) and the Santa Barbara County Track & Field Championships (April 25) have been put on hold.