Most events for the 2020 Summer Iowa Games in Ames are canceled, the Iowa Sports Foundation announced Tuesday, citing restrictions and risks associated with group gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The Summer Iowa Games takes months of coordination with a tremendous amount of effort from our staff, Iowa State University and the Ames community,” said Chuck Long, Iowa Games CEO and executive director. “We could not justify holding the games while putting our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff at risk.”


The Summer Iowa Games have been held in Ames for 30 years. Athletes from across the state participate in Olympic-style competitions in events including baseball, soccer, basketball, canoeing and billiards.


The group announced the cancellations before Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a Tuesday morning proclamation easing restrictions on recreational and leisure sporting events.


Image: Des S0715 Iowagames Bh08


From 2012: Fatimah Omar, right, of Iowa City battles Amanda Berryhill of Osceola during the 2012 Iowa Games in Ames. Iowa Games officials canceled the majority of its 2020 games due to COVID-19 restrictions.


Officials with the Iowa Games told the Ames Tribune that athletes affected by the cancellations may either receive a refund of their registration fee or have it credited to a future event.


Some events will still be held, or have been rescheduled. They include some non-contact sports like duathlon and triathlon, disc golf, black powder shooting and bowling.


An updated scheduled of events can be viewed online at the Iowa Games website.


Reynolds, in her Tuesday announcement, said sports gatherings of more than 10 people may resume June 1, so long as participants and spectators maintain six feet social distancing and venues operate at less than 50% capacity.


Her order also will permit practices, games and competitions in youth and adult events such as baseball, softball, running, biking, tennis, swimming, subject to social distancing and public health hygiene guidelines.


Image: Archery2johnston


From 2015: Students from clubs around Iowa take aim at the Iowa Games archery competition in Johnston. Officials canceled the majority of Iowa Games events this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.