The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) on Friday morning provided an update on the ongoing coronavirus situation, which has now closed Alabama public schools and stopped extracurricular activities.
In a press conference on Thursday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced a statewide school closure. However, online learning will be put to use as students finish the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Ivey signed a supplement to the state emergency order allowing schools to continue instructing students at home starting April 6.
On Friday, the AHSAA released a memo detailing the guidelines for spring sports.
“According to the State Superintendent’s follow up guidance, no face-to-face, in-person instruction, field trips, convocations or gatherings, or athletics will be allowed for the remainder of the school year,” read the memo.
“As a result, all AHSAA member schools’ spring sports’ regular season and championship events are hereby canceled for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
The memo also included a list of frequently asked questions:
1. Can a school coach hold practice or work with student-athletes in small groups during the school closures? No.
2. Can school facilities (batting cage or weight room, for example) be used if the coach is not present? No.
See the full statement provided by AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese below:
Like thousands of others, I am deeply saddened and disappointed that our schools have closed, and spring sports will not have an opportunity to finish their seasons. Even more so, I am disheartened for all student-athletes, contest officials, their coaches, families, student bodies, fans, communities, and especially our seniors. We are facing an unprecedented health crisis, but I am prayerful that the steps we are taking now within our schools and across our nation will enable all those affected to return to a sense of normalcy sooner than later. I’m extremely grateful to all our educators who will utilize tele-communications and other ingenious methods to continue to educate our students as well as keep our student-athletes conditioned.
Moreover, I’m grateful to all those within our medical communities who are serving those in need. In particular, now more than ever, I am thankful for the leadership of the AHSAA medical advisory board and Central Board of Control.
Lastly, all the steps we are taking now will be for naught if we each fail to do our part, and our responsibility is to follow the recommendations of our health care professionals. My prayer is that we will all take seriously the Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines so our families can once again return to work, visit loved ones in the hospital and nursing homes, celebrate birthdays, weddings, and births of children, visit and hold our grandchildren, shop, travel and just enjoy the simple things of everyday life we often take for granted. Until those guidelines are lifted, we must heed these cautions thus not allowing this health issue to affect future school years.