MSHSAA issues update regarding status of spring sports

The Missouri State High School Activities Association issued an update regarding the status of spring sports amidst the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday.

“While schools across the state are determining the best course of action during this unprecedented time, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) office staff continues to prepare for Spring Championships,” MSHSAA said in a press release. “In all likelihood, any championships that do happen will have a very different look and feel than in the past. The staff continues to find possible venues and back up venues, as well as continues to develop multiple variations of what a postseason may look like.”

Area schools compete in baseball, softball, girls soccer, boys tennis, boys golf, and track and field in the spring. Spring contests were scheduled to start March 20. With area schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of spring sports has been delayed until at least April 6.

There were 356 cases and eight confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Missouri reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

MSHSAA stressed in its latest update students should not gather for workouts or player-led practices at this time.

“MSHSAA is committed to the safety of our student-participants and the health of our school communities,” the press release said. “Accordingly, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding public gatherings, schools are reminded that it is not necessary or prudent for any number of students to gather for workouts, regardless of how these students gather or whether any MSHSAA rules are broken by said gathering. While schools are closed due to the COVID-19, teams are not allowed to practice or participate in competitions. This includes informal/player-led practices or any type of instructional session.”

Last week, MSHSAA canceled the Class 4 and Class 5 Show-Me Showdown for basketball. MSHSAA also canceled postseason events for speech, debate, theatre, and the state music festival.

MSHSAA has yet to announce its final plans for Scholar Bowl. Districts for Scholar Bowl start April 18.

MSHSAA stressed limiting interaction now is the best way to maximize the chances some spring events take place at a later date.

“National, state, and local governmental leaders are clear: To help our country slow the spread of this pandemic, the best thing society can do is limit its interaction with one another,” MSHSAA added. “So, despite how difficult this may be, the MSHSAA office strongly recommends, students, parents, and non-school coaches and trainers follow this advice. Doing so could ultimately end up salvaging the spring sports season.”

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