Louisiana shuts down all high school sports for the rest of the school year

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, April 9, 2020

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The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has officially canceled all high school sports for the rest of the school year due to coronavirus concerns.

The group announced Thursday that the LHSAA Executive Committee approved the cancellation of all remaining 2019-2020 winter sports championships and all spring sports regular season and championship events.

Governor Edwards announced last week that K-12 schools statewide would remain closed through the end of April. The Louisiana Association of State Superintendents has also submitted a request for the governor to keep schools closed through the rest of the school year.

LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“As you are all aware, Governor John Bel Edwards in consultation with the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education jointly announced in his proclamation on Friday, April 3, 2020 that all Louisiana public K-12 school facilities will remain closed through April 30, 2020. Yesterday, April 8, 2020 the Louisiana Association of State Superintendents submitted a written request to our Governor to keep school facility closures in place the remainder of the school year. However, school systems are encouraged to engage with students and families providing alternative distance education opportunities as capabilities exist. The distance learning delivery system(s) and the timeline(s) established are at the discretion of the Local Education Association for the remainder of April. “The LDOE and BESE stand committed to school systems as they make local decisions surrounding distance education opportunities for the remainder of the school year. LDOE has committed to working with LEA’s on the creation of a distance learning plan for their community. Since that announcement, and due to the severity of the virus and its spread, the continued uncertainty of circumstances surrounding our membership, their facilities, coupled with the importance of protecting the health and safety of our athletes, their families, potential spectators, coaches and game officials, the LHSAA Executive Committee, on recommendation from this Office and its staff, approved the cancellation all remaining 2019-2020 winter sports championships, as well as, all spring sports regular seasons and those respective spring sport championships.

This decision was not in haste and was discussed with tremendous concern for those senior athletes being affected. We realize and concur with the argument about returning to normalcy and allowing seniors to have their moment, just like we did for boys’ basketball championships, unfortunately, circumstances today are tremendously different than circumstances were that week in March. We understand the hardships and disappointments everyone, especially the class of 2020, is enduring due to the closure of schools’ facilities, but our unwavering focus must now remain on doing our part by continuing to follow any/all mitigation measures set forth by our Governor.

In closing, moving forward, I, along with designated LHSAA staff and the LHSAA Executive Committee will discuss potential permissive summer activities and/or make proactive plans for ‘if’ the virus affects the opening of schools and potentially the beginning of LHSAA sanctioned fall sports seasons for 2020-2021.”