Teams prepare for competition as seen on Punkin Chunkin 2009 (courtesy - David Holloway).

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has crushed the chances of Punkin Chunkin returning to Delaware.  

The World Championship Punkin Chunk Association said the search for space to hold the pumpkin hurling contest came to a halt once businesses started closing and various events were canceled. 

"We were forced to abandon our search before any significant progress was truly made," organizers said in a written statement. "We believe there is light at the end of the tunnel but, with it already being so late in the year, planning for an event that is even close to traditional is not possible."

Organizers said even as things "begin to get back to normal," conditions surrounding an event the size of Punkin Chunkin remain unclear.  

Organizers said they want to hold some kind of competitive challenge, but details were vague.  

In February of this year, Punkin Chunkin planners said they hoped to return to Delmarva following a hiatus after a television crew member was critically injured when when a trap door blew off a cannon called the "Pumpkin Reaper" in Sussex County.