High school sports will go on, at least for the time being.
Missouri High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has kept things open for the spring season to take place.
However, most area schools are stopping games and practices until further notice. Most schools have halted extracurricular activities and games until at least April 3.
The school districts of Franklin County issued a joint press release Monday night announcing the closures and that “All school activities, including athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, will be canceled during the time schools are closed.”
Since most athletic teams didn’t have the required practices, games wouldn’t be able to be played immediately.
While the NCAA, NJCAA and other entities have ended spring seasons, MSHSAA is not officially calling off games or cancelling the spring sports championships.
MSHSAA released the following statement concerning spring sports Monday:
As of today we are not canceling any Spring Sport Championships. The MSHSAA Office will stay in communication with state and local officials to help determine the possibility of holding the championships either as scheduled or rescheduling them as long as schools are still in session.
“If we are able to maintain locations for hosting the championship series, and schools are wishing to participate in the post season, we will conduct the championships,” Urhahn said. “We are not canceling any Spring sports at this time!”
Also note that if a school has determined that they are closing for a period of time due to COVID-19, no practices or games should occur during that time. If a school is still in session, then it is the local school’s decision on practices and games.
“This is consistent with our prior efforts to execute a measured response under the guidance of the appropriate health and governmental authorities,” said Urhahn.
Urhahn said MSHSAA will work with state and federal authorities.
“As of (Monday), the CDC has recommended that for the next eight weeks organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.,” Urhahn said. “Many of the host venues and facilities for our events are connected with colleges and universities that are closing their campuses. These issues directly and wholly affect MSHSAA districts and state series events.”
MSHSAA will remain in contact with the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, the Governor’s office, local health officials, high school associations in the Midwest and the CDC to determine the best course of action in upcoming weeks.
Many area districts had meetings set for Monday or Tuesday to determine what they’re going to do.
MSHSAA stated it will continue to work with the CDC concerning future adjustments to the spring sports season.
Any new decisions will be posted at www.mshsaa.org.
One school got an early decision — St. Francis Borgia Regional.
The St. Louis Archdiocese called off all of its schools through April 6, and that includes all extracurricular activities.
Borgia Athletic Director Chris Arand said Borgia’s athletics are in flux. None of the Borgia spring sports teams, baseball, girls soccer, track, boys golf or boys volleyball, completed their mandated 14 practices. Since teams are not allowed to practice, those teams can’t work on reaching that prior to school’s resumption.
As for games, it’s likely nothing scheduled between now and April 6 will be made up.
“We are cancelling everything until we resume,” Arand said. “There will be no way to make up games.”
Washington and Pacific continued to hold practices as they normally would through Monday. Neither school held practices Tuesday.
Those schools are both considering games scheduled during the time of the closings to be canceled rather than postponed.
“They are canceled until we actually return to play and see what kind of season is left,” Washington Athletic Director Bill Deckelman said. “It will be unlikely that you can reschedule all the lost events.”
Among the events unlikely to be made up is the Four Rivers Baseball Classic, which would have opened Friday and involved multiple area schools.
“ADs will reassess situation April 1 or 2,” Pacific Athletic Director Andy Herbst said. “We don’t want to make plans and then situation changes again. My opinion is most events will not be made up.”
St. Clair had been holding practices as normal prior to school closing Monday and Tuesday while awaiting test results of a person connected to the school for the coronavirus. St. Clair teams did not practice Monday or Tuesday due to the closings.
New Haven Athletic Director Jaime Hoener said that school will be out until April 6. Currently, the track program only has 10 completed practices while the baseball team has finished 11. That means no games would be able to be played in the first week back, should there be no further delays.
“It will be late in that week until we would be able to compete,” Hoener said.
Union won’t be back to practice until April 6 at the earliest.
“We are not allowing team practices during the time away,” Union Athletic Director Dan Ridgeway said. “Our facilities here at school are closed as well. Per the CDC and health department recommendations, we are encouraging our students to not gather in groups, but are encouraging them to work on their fitness individually. All of our athletes should continue with running and lifting based upon the equipment they have available to them or body weight exercises. Our coaches have contact information for all of our athletes to share any updates, changes, or individual workouts.”
East Central College
There will be no resumption of the softball season for East Central College.
The NJCAA decided Monday to cancel all upcoming basketball and spring sports competitions, effective immediately.
That includes all practices, regular season, postseason and national championship play.
“In light of the progressive evolvement of the COVID-19 situation, the NJCAA has decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA president and CEO. “As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sport competition. We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”
The East Central softball Falcons were playing their season while the volleyball and men’s soccer teams were conducting offseason training.
Athletes will get relief as they will get another year of eligibility.
“No spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation,” stated NJCAA.
With that, NJCAA is looking to expand the number of allowable letters of intent for spring sports through the 2021-22 academic year.
Besides the current athletes, this also affects the school’s recruiting efforts.
The NCAA stated that “All on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time.”
The East Central volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams were in the middle of recruiting athletes for next fall.
The soccer teams nave a new leader with Martin Clayes taking over as head coach for both teams. He’s been signing players for both teams, but this will be suspended now. The women’s soccer program is new.
Prior to the NJCAA announcement, East Central Athletic Director Jay Mehrhoff said the school had planned to return after April 3. This now will change due to NJCAA action.
“As always, it is important to keep the health and welfare of the student athletes in the forefront of making any decisions,” Mehrhoff said.