The government shutdown that started late Friday night has come in effect as the Senate failed to reach a deal by the midnight deadline. As with any government shutdown, we get a sense of just how much we rely on the federal government once they are shut down and sports is no different.
Due to the shutdown, the Air Force Academy announced that they are canceling all athletics “until further notice” but it seems like it will be the case through the duration of the shutdown.
Due to the government shutdown, all Air Force Academy home and away intercollegiate athletic events have been cancelled until further notice. In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible. We regret any inconvenience.
— USAFA (Official) (@AF_Academy) January 20, 2018
The Air Force held out hope that they may be able to reschedule events but depending on the sport, that may be easier said than done. Especially if the shutdown isn’t taken care of immediately. Air Force was supposed to play Fresno State in both men’s and women’s basketball. The academy also had men’s and women’s swimming, men’s ice hockey, men’s gymnastics and rifle events taking place and have all been canceled.
At this time, Army and Navy haven’t announced any changes due to the shutdown. Both Army’s men’s and women’s basketball teams play Lehigh today at 2 pm in West Point and Bethlehem. Navy has a similar schedule as both basketball teams play Boston University at 2 pm in Annapolis and Boston.
While many government divisions are closed, the military operates slightly differently to the rest of the government. Because the military can’t just stop working while the debate in Washington continues, essential personnel, including active military, continue to work but won’t be paid until after the shutdown is over. So while the military continues, things like academy athletics could be considered “non-essential” and be postponed or canceled.
Obviously, due to what is being discussed in Washington, some things are more important than whether or not Air Force has athletic events today. But it’s a reminder of how so many things need to be adapted very quickly when the government shuts down.