Six March Madness Referees Removed Before First Games After One Positive COVID-19 Test

Mar 16, 2021

Signage for March Madness along Georgia Street ahead of the tournament.
Credit Samantha Horton / IPB News

Six referees who were supposed to officiate the Men’s Division I Basketball championships in Indiana have been removed following a positive COVID-19 test.

One of the six officials was reported to have tested positive, but the NCAA said in a statement that the other five interacted with the individual for a prolonged amount of time and must quarantine.

READ MORE: NCAA Men's Basketball Teams Are About To Converge On Indianapolis

The risk of exposure makes them unable to participate in the upcoming games.

There are four preapproved replacement officials available for the March Madness tournament, but two will not be replaced. 

This is the first reported COVID-19 case among those who are inside the controlled environment created for the men's tournament.

Games are set to start this Thursday, March 18.

Contact reporter Samantha at or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.