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MSHSAA to allow schools to choose alternatives to fall and spring sports

Bill Althaus
bill.althaus@examiner.net
The Examiner

After a state-wide meeting with high school activities directors, the Missouri State High School Activities Association is allowing its member schools to make a choice on alternatives for fall and spring sports.

MSHSAA said in a release that it will offer alternatives to fall and spring sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including allowing fall sports teams to play in the spring. Alternative 2021 spring seasons would start later and end in the summer.

MSHSAA will allow schools and conferences to decide whether or not to use the alternative seasons or remain with the traditional seasons.

Area conferences and activities directors were scheduled to meet Thursday to vote on the likelihood of fall sports, but the Suburban Conference meeting has been called off, according to two local activities directors.

“The traditional seasons are still being offered at this time for those schools able to participate,” MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn said in a news release. “Today’s action by the Board of Directors puts into place a plan of action our staff devised in the event a school is not able to participate partially or in whole. This could give those students an opportunity to complete a season in their sport.”

MSHSAA said schools may use alternate fall seasons for any sport and will be included in the alternate spring season, which will begin as early as March 12 and conclude by May 1. Alternate spring seasons would start as early as May 14 and conclude by July 10.

Schools have the choice to opt out of any alternate spring seasons by contacting MSHSAA.

The winter season, as of now, remains intact with the first practices being Nov. 1. Winter seasons will conclude on March 20.

Here is the email sent to member schools today:

“This morning the Board of Directors met to discuss and consider potential adjustments to opportunities for member schools affected by restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the discussion, the board took action to grant relief to by-laws and board policies allowing for the scheduling of alternate Fall and Spring sport seasons for schools unable to participate in the traditional Fall sport season as well as late entry, if needed, into the Winter sport season.

This action DOES NOT cancel the traditional sport seasons, AT THIS TIME. However, with the ever-changing environment schools must continue to communicate with their local health departments.

Below are the preliminary details, more information will be provided as determined. Following this is a link to the Press Release being shared with the public.

2020-2021 Alternate Seasons

For schools able to participate in the traditional seasons offered, those will be available.

Traditional Sport Seasons:

Fall – 17 Weeks (3 practice, 14 comp)

Winter – 20 Weeks (3 practice, 17 comp)

Spring – 14 Weeks (3 practice, 11 comp)

All championship venues and locations for traditional sport seasons are subject to change.

Alternate Season Option

This option is being offered to member schools unable to participate in the traditional Fall season for any sport. Schools may use the alternate Fall and Spring Sport seasons if they:

• Completely canceled any Fall season sport

• Access to the Alternate Seasons may be considered on a sport-by-sport basis

Traditional Winter Sports Season:

• Schools may jump in when local guidelines allow

• Will end on March 20

Alternate Season:

• Fall Sports – Competition Season: March 12 to May 1 (7 Weeks)

• Spring Sports – Competition Season: May 14 to July 10 (8 Weeks)

Procedures

Declaration of Intent

Schools wishing to participate in the Fall Alternate Season for any sport shall notify the office no later than Friday, September 11, 2020

A school who is forced to shut down any sport after the September 11 deadline, shall request the office for access to the Fall Alternate Season

Spring Alternate Season

A school electing to participate in the Fall Alternate Season for any sport will, by default, be placed in the Spring Alternate Season for ALL Spring Sports

A school may send a request to the MSHSAA office to participate in the Traditional Spring Season for any Spring Sport if they opted into the Fall Alternate season.”