There will be no state championships won this spring in Alabama. One day after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey joined Alabama State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey to announce the continued closure of the state’s public schools for the remainder of the year due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced it was suspending all spring sports for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
There will be no state champions crowned in baseball, softball, track and field, soccer, golf or tennis. There will also be no spring football or basketball practices. No nothing until further notice by the association.
“This decision has not been made lightly,” Gov. Ivey said in a press conference last Thursday. She said she hoped Alabama would be able to welcome back students on April 6. However, she said the virus continues to spread across the state.
Alabama’s K-12 public and private school buildings have been closed by state health order since March 19 to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Last week, Gov. Ivey issued an order that all local school systems should adopt a plan to finish the academic year through alternative methods of instruction, such as online courses, beginning April 6.
Phenix City schools began online courses on Monday.
Mackey met with superintendents this past Friday to begin making plans for how learning will continue on April 6.
“We are working diligently with our local superintendents and their teams to make sure there is a plan in place for every school,” Mackey said, “for every child to continue their learning to close out their school year, to graduate our seniors on time or very close to on-time and by the end of this summer they will be moving on either into that next grade or moving on to their next step after high school.”
Mackey also addressed the discontinuance of sports for the remainder of the year.
“Unfortunately, soccer, baseball, softball, track, band, all of those spring activities are coming to an end and they won’t be able to complete those seasons,” Mackey said.
The AHSAA made its announcement last Friday in a press release and sent a list of what is allowed and what is not allowed regarding athletics.
“As you are aware, Gov. Kay Ivey, in consultation with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced yesterday that all public K-12 schools across the State of Alabama are open only for alternate delivery of instruction effective April 6 for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. 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. As a result, all AHSAA member schools’ spring sports’ regular season and championship events are hereby canceled for the remainder of the 2020 season,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said in the release.
“We understand the hardships and disappointments you are facing due to school closures, but also know, we are committed to putting the health, safety and overall well-being of our administrators, coaches and student-athletes at the forefront during this challenging time, and our priorities must focus on returning to a normal school year in 2020-21 and graduating the seniors of 2020.
“The AHSAA maintains its position on what can and cannot be done while schools are closed. All AHSAA member schools’ athletic events and activities including, but not limited to, contests, practices, weightlifting and conditioning are hereby suspended until further notice,” the release stated.
The Alabama Independent School Association has made no further announcements concerning its plan for the rest of the school year. AISA schools are closed until at least April 6, but a decision could be announced before next Monday.