LHSAA to meet this week to discuss spring sports

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The fate of high-school spring sports is still uncertain, but players and coaches are hoping to know more by the end of this week.

The LHSAA executive committee has a meeting scheduled for April 7-8, where they will discuss their next course of action as it pertains to prep sports.

At this moment, all spring sports have been suspended, but there is still a slight glimmer of hope that they could return later this summer.

Three weeks ago, Governor John Bel Edwards made the proclamation that all schools in Louisiana would close until at least April 13, and all gatherings of more than 250 people would be prohibited in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus throughout the state.

The LHSAA then took action.

That same day, the LHSAA announced that they would go on with the boy’s basketball state championship games that were in progress. However, as a precaution, they did not allow fans at the events.

The next day, the LHSAA announced they would suspend the spring sports seasons until at least April 13.

Much has happened since then.

The Center for Disease Control suggested the avoidance of gatherings of 50 people or more for eight weeks, and President Trump suggested no gatherings of 10 or more.

Gov. Edwards then issued a “stay at home” order for the state, and President Trump recommended all Americans stay at home until April 30.

In accordance with the President, Gov. Edwards announced that his “stay at home” order would extend to April 30. This means schools will also be closed until the end of the month.

All the while, Louisiana high-school sports continue to be stuck in limbo.

Over the past few weeks, Executive Director Eddie Bonine has been verbal in his aspiration to still hold spring sports championships. He has even said that the LHSAA has discussed the possibility of pushing them back to June.

"We continue to support the possibility of our member schools completing their spring sports seasons," Bonine said. "If and when schools are allowed to return to session will determine the length of the spring sports seasons and the potential of LHSAA state championships."

But he added that moving championships to this summer would only be an option if things improved.

That has not been the case. The virus has spread faster in Louisiana than any other state, and as of Monday morning, there are 13,010 positive cases of the Coronavirus, and there have been 477 confirmed deaths.

Bonine said that the LHSAA would continue to monitor the situation, but he said they won’t make any snap decisions. Their meeting this week will bring more light onto what they will do moving forward.

Following the CDC’s eight-week recommendation, teams would not be able to get back on the field until mid-May. And with the way the virus has been spreading throughout Louisiana, that seems optimistic.

Another hurdle will be practice.

Even if teams can continue their seasons in late May or early June, they will need up to two weeks of practice time before they can go back to competing in games. Playing without any practice could lead to injuries.

Before spring sports were suspended, bowling was about to begin its playoffs.

The gymnastics state meet was originally schedule for April 17-21, and the tennis state tournament was supposed to be on April 23-27.

The track, softball and golf championships were all scheduled for the first week of May. Baseball state titles were supposed to be handed out May 14-16.