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LHSAA delays summer workouts through June 8

LAPLACE — The Louisiana High School Athletic Association voted unanimously Wednesday to delay the start of all summer sports workouts through June 8.

Executive Director Eddie Bonine has stated that the primary concern of the LHSAA is to look out for the safety and well-being of all student athletes, coaches and anyone else who may be involved with the summer programs.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced earlier this week that Louisiana was well positioned for a Phase I opening, which went into effect May 15. If all goes well, Edwards will initiate Phase 2 on June 5.

Louisiana’s K-12 Supportive Guidance and the American Academy of Pediatrics state that Phase I group sizes cannot exceed 10 people, including adults, which would make it difficult to coordinate team practices. Additionally, “contact sports” including basketball, football, soccer and wrestling are not permitted at this time.

Under Phase II, group sizes will be limited to 25, including adults, and “limited contact sports” will be allowed. According to the LHSAA, limited contact sports include baseball, cheerleading, gymnastics, softball and volleyball. “Non-contact sports” such as bowling, cross country, track, golf, powerlifting, swimming, tennis and weightlifting are permissible during both Phase I and Phase II under the guidance.

“Today, the LHSAA Executive Committee took into account any/all information provided by updates, inter-committee discussion and staff recommendation and made a decision to postpone the first day of permissive LHSAA Summer Rules to Monday, June 8, 2020 in all sports in all LHSAA member schools, regardless of the category defined above,” Bonine said in a statement released Wednesday.

He added that balancing public safety and reopening the economy are the most important goals at this time.

This week’s decision was also based on input from the Louisiana Department of Education, the Louisiana High School Coaches Association and the Louisiana High School Officials Association during the Zoom meeting.

The Louisiana Department of Education is continuing to consult with the Office of Public Health and will be issuing additional summer athletic and transportation guidance, according to Bonine.

This guidance will come from the governor’s Resilient Louisiana Commission, which is charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and advocating for more resilient business activities and commerce in the coming months.

Also during the Zoom meeting, the LHSAA Executive Committee has a thorough discussion related to deadlines and expiration dates for participation physicals.

The LHSAA is seeking review and clearance from the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the Legal Counsel to provide guidance to the public.