Springs sports will go on — that’s the plan for now, at least. Although, they’ll start a little later than usual.
On Friday, after announcing that its boys’ basketball state tournament would be postponed indefinitely in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Indiana High School Athletic Association said it plans on “staging all spring sports tournament series events as scheduled.”
That was according to communication that the IHSAA sent out to its member schools on Friday morning. The correspondence also included some suggestions.
“Regular season contests are conducted at the discretion of our member schools. Currently, the guidance being provided by the State of Indiana allows for events with less than 250 individuals in attendance to be conducted. Local jurisdiction shall prevail with regard to whether contests in the regular season are conducted,” the IHSAA said.
The organization also stated:
- “A decision on meeting a minimum number of contests to become eligible for IHSAA tournament series events will be made at a later date.”
- “Some schools in our state have closed and will implement extended break periods. Once students return to school, all provisions of Rule 9-14 – Practice Attendance to Participate in a Contest shall be enforced. This health and safety measure within the by-laws will not be waived. Should a previously scheduled contest fall before the completion of said separate days of practice, the contest must be rescheduled or cancelled.”
With most area schools closed until at least the end of the month, the start of the seasons for the seven IHSAA-sanctioned spring sports — boys’ and girls’ track & field, unified track & field, girls’ tennis, softball, boys’ golf and baseball — will obviously be delayed by days, or weeks. Especially when you take into account the fact that the IHSAA mandates that each athlete participate in 10 practices before competing in a sanctioned match, game or meet.
Some area schools are already planning ahead. For example with Greater Clark County Schools out of school until at least April 6, Jeffersonville has a course of action in place.
With a ban on all on- or off-campus practices, all Red Devil spring teams are scheduled to resume activities when school restarts. With that in mind the first potential meets for the Jeff boys’ and girls’ track & field teams, who had already begun practices, will be April 13. Meanwhile the school’s five other sports, which had yet to begin official practice, have their potential first events slated for April 17.
So for now, spring sports will go on.