The snow that swept into the Washington area yesterday not only wreaked havoc with the normal workday, but forced the cancellation of almost all sporting events.

Among them were the Washington Capitals game with Vancouver, scheduled for 8:05 at Capital Centre, and horse racing at Bowie, which will also be dark today. Also cancelled were three Saturday college basketball games: Maryland at Duke, American at Towson and Brooklyn College at Navy.

The Capitals' game was postponed indefinitely because of Vancouver's scheduling difficulties. The Canucks have a game in Boston Sunday and are not scheduled to be east of Minnesota for the rest of the season.

Playing Monday night is a possibility but both Vancouver and Capital Centre officials, with the Ice Capades approaching, are hesitant.

The postponement was only the second because of inclement weather in Capitals' history. The other occurred on March 3, 1978, when the game was called when two inches of snow had fallen by noon with more expected. The snow stopped by 3 p.m. and when the visiting New York Rangers arrived, they wondered where everybody was. This time, the cancellation's logic was readily apparent.

The Telscreen showing of the Marvin Hagler-Tony Sibson world middleweight championship fight in Worcester, Mass., scheduled to be shown after the Capitals game, was also cancelled.

Racing at Charles Town was called off as was Rosecroft's premeet qualifier scheduled for noon today.

The Baltimore Blast's indoor soccer contest with the St. Louis Steamer at the Baltimore Civic Center was postponed indefinitely.

Local college basketball was wiped out. The Anne Arundel-Montgomery Takoma Park men's game, as well as women's contests between Gallaudet and Mary Washington, Shippensburg State and Navy, the University of the District of Columbia and George Mason, and Charles County and Prince George's were postponed.

The normally busy Friday local high school basketball schedule was all postponed. This includes boys and girls games in Montgomery, Prince George's, the District and northern Virginia, as well as the more distant Maryland suburbs and area private schools. Prince George's games are all rescheduled for the same times and sites on Wednesday, except the Largo-Parkdale game, which will be played at Parkdale.

The St. Albans-Georgetown Prep game has been rescheduled for 7:30 tonight. The Oakton at Lake Braddock girls and boys games have been moved to Monday at 6 and 8, respectively. The Langley-McLean girls game will be played at 7:45 Monday and the same schools' boys teams will play at Langley Monday at 8. All other postponed games have not been rescheduled yet.

On today's schedule, George Mason University's game at Maine has been pushed back from 1 until 4:30. The Prince George's-Montgomery-Germantown has been postponed while Washington Bible's game at Baptist Bible has been reset for Wednesday at 8.

Among women's games, Maryland's game against Duke was moved to Sunday at 3 at Cole Field House. American's contest at LaSalle has been postponed until March 1 and Mount Vernon's game with Sweet Briar has been postponed indefinitely.

George Washington's swim meet with Rutgers was postponed as was the badminton meet at GW. Also called off were the rifle sectionals at Navy and the wrestling meet at George Mason.

In wrestling, the Interstate Athletic Conference meet has been moved to Georgetown Prep at 10 a.m. Sunday. The Northern District Tournament will be at Robinson Monday at 11 a.m and the Commonwealth Tournament will be at North Stafford Monday at 10.

All Prince George's wrestling meets will be held Monday at their original times and sites. The Great Falls District Tournament has been rescheduled at Yorktown Monday at 11 a.m. and the Potomac District Tournament at Falls Church will be held Monday and Tuesday at 3 and 8 p.m.

The Metro Conference Tournament at O'Connell has been postponed. The regional Prince George's County track meet has been rescheduled for next Saturday at Towson State at 8 a.m.