When the GHSA first suspended spring sports due to COVID-19 concerns, there was hope that players could return to their respective fields or tracks for practices and games once March was over.
In light of Gov. Brian Kemp’s extended mandate against gatherings of 10 or more people, the wait will be longer, according to GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines. He published an update on his organization’s website Tuesday saying that the spring sports season suspension has been extended at least through Monday, April 6. Some school systems had already instituted closures beyond that date already in light of the ever-evolving situation. The GHSA, the state’s governing body for public high school athletics, initially said the regular season belongs to its member schools, but Kemp’s mandate shut the season down.
“The fact is that we are in unprecedented times and our situation remains fluid,” Hines said in his statement.
The associate directors of the GHSA are scheduled to meet Friday to “plan for all scenarios that could pertain to the spring season and spring championships.”
“All we can do is take the information available to us at the time and make the best decisions we can moving forward,” said Hines. “Our top priority is the safety of our student-athletes and those with whom they have contact. As a reminder, all practices and competitions continue to be suspended until further notice.”
Every day of competition lost makes it harder to complete the season as scheduled. State playoffs for baseball and soccer are slated to start around April 22. If competition can resume after the April 6 stated date, then that gives regions a little over two weeks to hammer out seeding for the postseason. A difficult feat, though a possible one. Track and field seems to be the spring sport least in jeopardy of changes right now. Regular season meets are just warmups before region, sectionals and state, which are the events that really count. The GHSA currently has a May 2 deadline for region track to be completed with sectionals scheduled for May 9. The state championships are slated for May 14-16.
If there’s any good news in all of this for spring student-athletes and coaches, it’s that the GHSA has not taken the same route as the NCAA and outright canceled all spring sports and championships as of yet.