AHSAA states sports guidelines amid COVID-19 concerns

The AHSAA released a statement regarding the continuance of spring sports amid growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus Friday morning.

In the prepared statement, the AHSAA said the organization is closely monitoring statewide conditions regarding COVID-19 with the Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AHSAA said based on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s recommendation and in accordance with information sent to public schools from the Alabama State Department of Education, events with 500 or more in attendance from outside the school’s student body should be canceled or limited to the recommended number. Compliance regarding the recommendation is the responsibility of local schools and school boards.

The statement also said, “Please know, the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and fans are at the forefront of the AHSAA’s mission. Thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility as we deal with this unfortunate situation.”

The statement continued by answering some frequently asked questions regarding spring sports amid the spreading coronavirus. 

The AHSAA said practice and competition are a school and school system decision and should be based on the most current recommendations of the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Regarding the status of AHSAA spring championships, the statement said state championship plans remain as scheduled, but could change. 

The AHSAA said it has formed a Spring Sports Contingency Committee to analyze current information to develop alternative options for championship play, if necessary, adding that decisions will be made in the best interest of coaches, administrators, fans and student-athletes.

If athletes or teams do not meet the minimum contest requirements at the end of the season due to mandated cancellations, the AHSAA said those contingency plans are developed and schools will be notified of championship qualifications to ensure all teams have equal opportunity to participate in championships.

If a game is scheduled and one team does not agree to play or reschedule, the game would not count as a forfeit, the AHSAA said, asking for encouragement from all schools to be understanding and work together during these challenging times.

The AHSAA said it will provide further updates as new information becomes available. Visit www.ahsaa.com for all updates.

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