WVSSAC suspends spring sports

On Friday, March 13, all high school athletics were suspended across the Mountain State, leaving the fields of Hampshire High barren. Nittany the Pooch stands on Sunrise Summit looking down on the empty softball field, baseball field, track and tennis courts after all extracurricular activities were canceled due to COVID-19. 

WVSSAC suspends spring sports

SUNRISE SUMMIT – All extracurricular activities statewide were frozen on Friday as State School Superintendent Clayton Burch implemented a mandatory cancelation of all school athletics until April 10.

WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan talked about the situation on Citynet Statewide Sunday Sportsline regarding the suspended basketball tournaments and springs sports.

“When they cut (NCAA) March Madness, when they cut the Big 12 Tournament out completely, I think people realized the seriousness of it,” Dolan stated.

“On a smaller scale to our kids, they really don’t care about the NCAA Tournament. It is their tournament. It is the biggest thing they are going to be in for most of them in their lives. They wanted it. We wanted it. And we tried to go as long as we could. At that point, we were just about out of options.”

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that gatherings of 10 or more people in the United States be canceled or postponed for a period of eight weeks.

“Everyday if you try to make a decision on the facts you have today, they are different tomorrow. I try not to do many ‘what-ifs’ publicly. But we are working through those with the members of our staff.”

Spring sports including baseball, softball, tennis and track had already begun their preseason practices on March 2. All of those sports could have held their first official contests today, March 18.

If the situation improves, spring sports will be faced with a shortened regular season.

“If they still have to get their fourteen practices in, by rule we are almost into regional tennis (May 4) before anyone is even eligible. The next week is regional track and then we are into sectional softball. I think those are decisions where we want to look at all possibilities. You certainly don’t want to say yes to one sport and no to another.”

With schools and extracurricular activities halted at this time, Dolan talked about the ability of teams having practice or working out at team facilities.

“Schools should not allow people in their facilities without supervision. Our coaches are not allowed to coach at this point. It creates a liability for them. They will have to refrain from that.”

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