Following Wednesday’s announcement from Governor Brian Kemp that all schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the Georgia High School Association officially announced that all spring sports were canceled.
“Given the announcement yesterday by Governor Kemp, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that all GHSA activities and sports are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year,” GHSA executive Director Robin Hines said in a statement. “I especially want to commend the graduating seniors who have not only missed most of the spring season but prom, senior nights, awards ceremonies, possibly graduation, and spent the last few months away from their friends and classmates. Our seniors have a great deal to be proud of and while this is not the way any of us wanted it to end, I want to thank them for a job well done.”
While the NCAA is granting an extra year of eligibility to college athletes in spring sports, that won’t be the case for high school seniors.
“There have been quite a few requests for the GHSA to allow a fifth year of eligibility to students due to this crisis. There are no plans to grant an additional year,” Hines said. “As sad and disappointing as this spring has been, there is a backward trickle effect and there are many unintended consequences associated with waiving this by-law. GHSA activities and sports are education-based and exist as an extension of the classroom.”
The bigger issue now is if the effects of COVID-19 will affect the fall sports season. However, that something that no one can predict yet. What is for sure is that sports like football won’t be able to have workouts for the foreseeable future.
“As I stated in the newsletter earlier this week, I am concerned about the summer as well as the fall,” Hines said. “I am hoping for the best but there is no information available that would allow for any decision regarding when practices and workouts will be allowed. There are no GHSA activities or practices allowed until further notice.”