Athletics FAQs from the AHSAA about Coronavirus closings
To: Superintendents, Principals, Athletic Directors, Head Coaches of Spring Sports
From: Steve Savarese, Executive Director, AHSAA
Date: March 16, 2020
Latest Update and FAQs related to school closures for COVID-19
On behalf of the AHSAA, I want to personally thank you for your leadership and cooperation during this unprecedented health crisis. We are all having to make adjustments to our daily schedules , but if we work together, we can hopefully navigate these unchartered waters successfully. On Friday, March 13th, the Governor and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) released directives to close all schools across the state for a period of 2.5 weeks beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. As a result, all athletic events and activities including, but not limited to, contests, practices, weightlifting and conditioning are hereby suspend ed during this time. The last date for any athletic activity will be Tuesday, March 17th.
To better assist our principals, athletic directors, coaches, student-athletes, and parents regarding what is allowed or not allowed during the mandated school closures, the AHSAA has provided a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
1. Can a school coach hold practice or work with student-athletes in small groups during the school closures? No. The mandated school closure is a "dead-period" for all athletic activity, even in small groups. A coach is not allowed to have contact with nor work with students during this time.
2. Can school facilities be used if the coach is not present? (Ex. Three or four students want to use the batting cage or pitching machine at the school or come to the school to work out in the weight room.] No. Please refer to the ALSDE guidelines listed on their website. School owned facilities are closed and should not be used during the mandated school shutdown.
3. Can an individual or group of students work on sport skills on their own outside the school setting at a facility off campus as long as a school coach is not present? Yes, if parents approve. The AHSAA does not govern outside facilities.
4. Can a student participate in an outside activity in the same sport or any other sport during this time? The AHSAA considers the "closed period" to be similar to summer. The AHSAA does not govern outside participation nor the 50% rule during the summer. [Please see Rule 1. Section 6 Outside Participation and (B) Fifty Percent Rule.]
5. If schools are allowed to resume on April 6th , will regular season and championship play continue for spring sports? The AHSAA has created a Spring Sport Contingency Committee to study and provide a plan(s) regarding regular season and championship play. An overview of the committee's meeting will be available online after their meeting on March 17th• The date schools return to a regular schedule will determine what plan is implemented for the remainder of the school year.
The AHSAA is committed to putting the health, safety, and overall well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront during this unprecedented health crisis, and we truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation.