state swim file

In this February 2018 photo, a swimmer competes at the high school state swimming championships at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful.

Flyers for winter sports tryouts, open gyms and such were posted all around school hallways and social media in the last week.

It was a pleasant occurrence for winter sports coaches and athletes who’d spent the last few months worrying about the prospects of their upcoming seasons.

For at least another two weeks, that’s all on hold.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s late-night COVID-19 announcement Sunday, among many other things, halts winter sports until at least Nov. 23.

For now, it means winter sports — city recreation leagues, school sports, club sports, etc. — are delayed at least two weeks and, depending on what the governor’s next move is, potentially longer.

“No organized or school-sponsored extracurricular activities, including sports and intramural events,” reads part of the new state of emergency. “Currently scheduled high school football games are allowed to continue with increased restrictions.

“No private, recreation, or club sports or athletic events. After Nov. 23, 2020, weekly testing of participants in high school sporting events will be implemented. Intercollegiate sporting events are allowed.”

No details have been offered about the weekly COVID-19 testing of high school sports participants. There’s also been no new information released about spectator limitations (indoor prep sporting events are currently at 25% capacity) for winter sports events, should they begin.

The Utah High School Activities Association issued a statement Sunday night about the order.

“Association staff will work with the Governor’s Office and the State Health Department to understand the unique impacts to UHSAA activities, including the conclusion of the UHSAA State Football Championships and UHSAA winter activities,” the statement read.

“The UHSAA will communicate with member schools as soon as information is available on protocols and procedures moving forward. The safety of students and Utah communities will continue to be paramount to the Association and its member high schools.”

The two-week shutdown includes all school district-sponsored athletics and activities at high schools, junior highs and elementary schools.

High school swimming has already started with a handful of teams, mostly from Regions 1 and 5, contesting swimming meets last week.

High school basketball for the 3A-1A classifications was scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 16, while the 6A-4A classifications were scheduled to begin on Nov. 23.

Wrestling’s start date was Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving. Many schools are attempting to reschedule athletic contests that were scheduled for the first two weeks of the season.

City recreation impacts

City recreation departments have been forced to close swimming pools and halt recreation sports. According to Ogden City’s website, the Marshall White Center and the Golden Hours Senior Center are closed. The website calls the suspensions “temporary.”

Classes and programming at the Clearfield Aquatic Center are postponed for two weeks, but the city clarified that the pool and fitness areas are still open under prior restriction levels.

According to Layton City’s website, all city recreation programs are postponed until at least Nov. 23. It includes classes, lessons and drop-in use for many programs, mostly at the Surf ‘n Swim pool, where swimming lessons and water aerobics classes are canceled.

Contact reporter Patrick Carr via email at and follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_.

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