Shrine Bowl cancels plans for 2020 game

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas has cancelled its 2020 all-star football game due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

The 84th annual game, originally scheduled for December 19 at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, will now be played Dec. 18, 2021.

The Shrine Bowl Board of Governors met Thursday and voted for the decision to cancel this year’s event, which annually matches the top seniors from North and South Carolina and benefits the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, the Shrine Bowl Athletic Department and Medical Staff have been doing their due diligence in trying to prepare for the 84th Shrine Bowl Game,” said Game Chairman Ronnie Blount. “The staff has been trying to glean every piece of information from the North and South Carolina governing bodies possible. Everything from player selection, housing, transportation and food services for our players, coaches and athletic staff and medical personnel.

“We are learning that with the current circumstances and the monumental efforts that it will take to meet the challenges of COVID-19 in which we are now faced are those that cannot hardly be achieved by us at this time. In short, if we are not able to produce a great quality game as we have done the past 83 years and provide the best game possible for our sponsors, players, coaches and patrons, then we should not play the game this year.”

Blount said that the group still plans to select a team of 44 seniors from each state. Those selections will be announced in October.