Will there be any shining moments this spring for Iowa high school female and male athletes?
Cedar Falls director of athletics Troy Becker certainly hopes so.
Monday, following the lead of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’s decision to close schools for the next four weeks because of the COVID-19 virus, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, have suspended all spring sports and activities for that same time period.
The released stated that all IHSAA and IGHSAU sports are now in a prohibited period for practice, competition and sanctioned activity until the closure is lifted. This prohibition means no in-person contact between coaches/administrators and student-athletes for the duration of the period.
That suspension would end on Friday, April 10, with Monday, April 13 being the official start of school.
“Like everybody else, I’m just getting information right now,” Becker said. “I’m thankful we didn’t panic and cancel the whole season because there are so many uncertainties.
“That was the one win of the day.”
Becker and Waterloo West director of athletics Dr. Anthony Pappas said they and other athletic directors from the Mississippi Valley Conference have been emailing back and forth with a consensus to wait a week or two to see how things begin to play out before making any decisions.
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“We’ve had discussions on what we are going to do and if we can start on April 13 how we going to form the condensed season,” Pappas said. “Absolutely that is our goal (to have a condensed season).”
Becker continues to hold hope that there will be a condensed spring season.
“Right now we know we can have no contact with our athletes until April 13,” Becker said. “Best case scenario is we resume on April 13 and start practicing again and try to get a condensed spring season in. That would be my hope, especially for the seniors.
“That would be the best case scenario, certainly.”
The statement also said future guidance from the IGHSAU and IHSAA on activity schedule adjustments and their effects on season lengths as well as postseason events will be announced through www.iahsaa.org and www.ighsau.org. It also said because of the rapidly changing narrative any of the announced guidelines maybe adjusted.
Additionally, Becker said he and his fellow athletic directors are waiting on guidance from the state on what kind of communication they can have with their athletes. He hopes coaches will be allowed to communicate things that athletes can do to stay in shape and keep ready.
“Kids being kids, I believe they will stay active,” Becker said.
Prior to the suspension of activities, the first officially scheduled practices for boys’ soccer, golf and tennis were to be Monday. The first official practice dates for girls’ soccer was set for March 23.
The first official practice and competition dates for boys’ and girls’ track was Feb. 17 with teams already competing indoors at the Dickinson Relays inside the UNI-Dome last week.
The first official practice date for baseball and softball remains May 4, while baseball was scheduled to begin limited practice on April 1.
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