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Iowa high school spring sports season canceled

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced the cancellation of the 2020 spring sports season Friday afternoon, ending the season for all four boys’ and girls’ sports including golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field.

The announcement came after Gov. Kim Reynolds said all Iowa schools would remain closed through the rest of the 2019-20 school year. 

The decision was made by both the IGHSAU and IHSAA in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Education and state officials. Both the IGHSAU and IHSAA boards approved the decision. 

“While we are disappointed that student-athletes will not have the opportunity to compete this spring, we remain committed to our primary goal of keeping students, coaches, officials and communities safe,” said Tom Keating, IHSAA executive director, in a press release. “This cancellation comes out of an abundance of caution for the wellbeing of all. Conducting our spring season would involve moving groups of people in and out of various communities for competition. At this time we believe that is a risk we should not take.”

Last season, the four spring sports had more than 45,000 participants. Track and field ranked second in participation number with just over 12,000 boys and nearly 10,000 girls signed up. 

“We understand the important role that athletics and activities play in the lives of our students, schools and communities,” said Jean Berger, IGHSAU executive director. “But during this time of uncertainty, we must support the health and safety recommendations of our state and national leaders. This decision is especially heartbreaking for our senior competitors, and we thank them for all they have done to represent their schools throughout their careers.”

Iowa’s summer sports, including baseball and softball, are suspended until further assessments are made with state officials. Practice, competition and postseason dates will be announced when they become available. 

Both the IGHSAU and IHSAA will continue to work with and follow the guidelines from health and government officials to determine when it is safe to resume school activities and mass gatherings. 

 

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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