Abbreviated spring sports now shooting for May 1

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana High School Athletic Association bowed to the inevitable Thursday, March 19, reluctantly announcing that the Boys Basketball State Tournament is officially cancelled.

Following Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's directive earlier in the day, closing all schools in the state until May 1, the association found itself left with no other option due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

The IHSAA's 110th annual Boys Basketball State Tournament was halted following the completion of the 64 class division sectionals Saturday, March 7.

Regionals in the 4-class tournament series initially were postponed one day before they could be contested the following Saturday, March 14.

“It is with great sadness and disappointment that we inform Hoosiers of the cancellation of the remaining games of the 2020 IHSAA boys basketball tournament series,” said IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox stated in press release.

“While the Association maintained every hope of continuance, it is now evident those hopes are now

unreachable. Albeit there will not be regional, semistate and state champions crowned across our four

classifications, the health and safety of our public remains paramount and our primary focus.”

IHSAA initially postponed the remaining tournament games due to the growing number of school closures prior to the regionals.

Updates on the status of IHSAA-sponsored spring sports will be announced at a later time.

The Association continues to remind its member schools and the general public to follow the guidance of the governor and the Indiana State Department of Health via IN.gov/coronavirus.

In another IHSAA news release issued Thursday, the state association officially suspended all spring sports practices and events until Wednesday, May 1.

The move allows athletes to participate in non-school spring sports activities until that date.

IHSAA also reduced the qualifying amount of practices to five, instead of the usual 10, upon the projected return of high school spring sports.

That would project Thursday, May 7, as the IHSAA's first official day that spring sports contests could be held.

"Currently, we still intend to stage an abbreviated spring sports program," Commissioner Cox stated.

"The provisions are contingent upon a return to school including approved gatherings of multiple students by May 1. From this point forward until May 1, all IHSAA spring sports (Track & Field, Unified Track & Field, Softball, Baseball, Boys Golf and Girls Tennis) revert to IHSAA By-Law 15-2, During School Year Out-of-Season.

"This allows parents and students to make an independent determination to seek activity that is non-school sponsored while schools are out of session. This is not an invitation to begin a limited contact period, or conditioning, which is school-sponsored and against the directive of our governor."

Cox concluded: "If we are able to resume on May 1, the number of separate days of practice necessary to participate in any interscholastic event, including contests shall be set at five."

Although the South Dearborn Community School Corporation already has announced it will institute eLearning for the remainder of the school year, following the end of spring break and waiver days Tuesday, April 7, extracurricular activities - including spring sports - still are planned to return, it was announced via the southdearbornathletics.com website Wednesday, March 18.

Sunman-Dearborn schools announced Friday that eLearning will be in effect from April 7 at least until May 1, as the situation currently stands, while Lawrenceburg schools are expected to follow suit.

The Dearborn County Register & Journal Press

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