The Utah High School Activities Association announced Tuesday that, despite opposition from a portion of parents and athletes, the decision to cancel spring sports competition due to the new coronavirus pandemic remains in place.
In conjunction with the state of Utah’s April 14 decision to keep schools in soft-closure status for the remainder of the school year, the UHSAA announced that same day that spring sports seasons were canceled.
After coronavirus effects reached a critical mass in mid-March, both the state and the UHSAA had previously pegged the dates of March 30 and May 1 as potential goals for re-opening. Some in the sports community had hope that spring seasons could resume after teams played a handful of games or competitions between March 2-14.
Six days after the April 14 decision to cancel spring seasons, a video titled “Let Us Play” was published to YouTube in which high school athletes petition the powers that be to let high school sports resume.
The UHSAA Board of Trustees met Tuesday to discuss the pandemic and that video petition.
“In accordance with the new information in the Governor’s ‘Utah Leads Together 2.0’ plan and the recent recommendations of the UHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the UHSAA Board of Trustees reaffirmed the April 14, 2020, board decision to cancel all sanctioned activities for the 2020 spring season, including state championships,” a UHSAA release said Tuesday.
In the fight against the spread of coronavirus, Utah moved from red status to orange on May 1, lifting some restrictions but still operating under what is considered “moderate risk.” Restaurants, for example, could re-open dining rooms but tables must be spaced apart and customers are asked to wear masks or face coverings inside all businesses.
The next step is a move to yellow, or “low-risk.”
“The Board of Trustees will consider sanctioning 2020-2021 statewide high school competition once all 29 counties move to yellow status,” the release said.
“The UHSAA will continue to work with its member schools to follow the ‘Utah Leads Together 2.0’ plan and its approach to dial up economic, educational, and extracurricular activities in a data-driven, measured approach. The UHSAA and its member schools are focused on creating conditions that will support the health and safety of high school students as the state moves from orange to yellow risk status.”