Even as state high school athletics associations across the country shut down their operations for the rest of the academic year, and despite a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services report indicating that the coronavirus pandemic could span 18 months, some states are holding onto hope that at least part of their spring sports seasons can be salvaged.
AB Today is aware of at least seven states that, as of this writing, were looking to see the other side of spring sports suspensions. They include New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on the East Coast, California, Washington and Arizona on the West Coast, and Oklahoma in between.
“While the time may come when we have to cancel post-season events, today is not that day,” said California Interscholastic Federation executive director Ron Nocetti in a statement released Tuesday after meeting with the state’s 10 section commissioners. “In anticipation of further guidance and directives issued by federal, state and local government agencies regarding COVID-19, the CIF has not determined the future of spring sports events at this time and intends to reconvene with the 10 Section Commissioners on April 3 to revisit this issue. Pending that time, Sections will continue to confer with their local leadership and the State CIF will continue to monitor any directives and recommendations issued from the above entities.
“The CIF will continue to work with our schools and school districts with the health and well-being of student-athletes and school communities as our priority,” Nocetti continued, as reported by the Napa Valley Register.
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association remains determined to make every effort to play all spring activities as scheduled, even as the state's department of education canceled school and activities until April. 6, as reported by The Duncan Banner.
“Based on the action of the State Department of Education, the OSSAA is requiring that during this time all school personnel, including certified, adjunct or volunteer coaches, are prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving secondary students; no practice, instruction, training, weight lifting, tryouts, competition or travel is permitted,” OSSAA said in a memo to athletic directors. “School facilities will be closed until April 6, 2020 at which time the situation will be reevaluated.”
By all indications, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been taking a tristate governmental approach to mitigating the spread of coronavirus and treating COVID-19 cases. However, the three are clinging to a spring reawakening. One New York high school athletic director, speaking to the Staten Island Advance on the condition of anonymity, said, “I think we can absolutely have a shortened-season starting with the first day back. If school starts April 20 we can start right away since we already had spring practices and workouts which started on March 1.”
The AD added that the spring season, which encompasses more than 20 boys’ and girls’ sports, could be extended into June. Most spring regular seasons end around May 20, not including the playoffs.