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. 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.
There have been quite a few requests for the GHSA to allow a 5th year of eligibility to students due to this crisis. There are no plans to grant an additional year. 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 culmination of all activities of a student is to lead to graduation and this will have taken place for our seniors. This is not the situation any of us would like to be in but the 8-semester rule will remain in effect.
Moving forward to this summer, there is not enough information to make decisions at this time. We await guidance from the NCAA on the Men’s Basketball Recruiting Event and will inform you where that stands as soon as we know something. As I stated in the newsletter earlier this week, I am concerned about the summer as well as the fall. 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.
Again, this is not what anyone hoped for and I appreciate your continued support during this difficult time. As always, feel free to email or call if I can help you with anything or answer any questions.
I am sure most of you know by now that Governor Kemp on Thursday extended the mandatory closing of all schools through April 24. Obviously, the GHSA will follow this edict and we remind our member schools that all practices and contests remain suspended until at least April 24.
The governor’s office has indicated that he likely will make a decision on the remainder of the school year sometime prior to April 24. Therefore at or before that time, the GHSA office will inform our member schools of a decision regarding resuming spring sports and activities.
These are, of course, unprecedented times that call for unprecedented actions and our main concern remains the safety of all student-athletes, their families and fans.
I want to touch base with everyone after Governor Kemp’s press conference yesterday. His mandate of no gatherings of more than 10 people certainly applies to schools and sporting events so in effect the original mandate has been extended through April 6. 2020. I am also aware of schools and communities mandating closures beyond this date. The fact is that we are in unprecedented times and our situation remains fluid.
The GHSA Associate Directors will meet Friday, March 27, to plan for all scenarios that could pertain to the Spring season and Spring championships. All we can do is take the information available to us at the time and make the best decisions we can moving forward. Our top priority is the safety of our student athletes and those with whom they have contact. As a reminder, ALL practices and competitions continue to be suspended until further notice.
Feel free to contact me with any concerns.
The GHSA is an extension of our member schools in providing education-based sports and activities. As such, and in response to Governor Kemp’s mandatory closure of Georgia’s public schools, the mandatory closure will extend to all GHSA sports and activities including practice. Schools are scheduled to reopen on March 31 and we will follow the guidance available to us at that time. The safety of our student athletes and all of those that they come in contact with is our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation and don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.
As we all continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 on EVERYTHING, we want to keep you informed as to the latest GHSA decisions.
The GHSA staff will work remotely beginning Monday, March 16, and extending through Friday, March 27, at which time we plan to have an update on whether or not the current recommended two-week suspension will end or be extended.
Someone from our staff will come into the office to monitor the phones during the morning hours each day. If you would like to communicate with any of our staff, please use the general GHSA email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the individual’s personal email address, which may be found at this link: https://www.ghsa.net/office-staff.
We are keeping all GHSA family members in our thoughts and we will strive to do what is in the best interest of our student-athletes during this unprecedented time.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Following a statement by Governor Brian Kemp Thursday afternoon, the Georgia High School Association is postponing the State Literary competitions scheduled for March 14 and March 21, and further recommending that all member schools suspend spring sports activities until further notice.
“The regular season belongs to the schools themselves,“ said Dr. Robin Hines, Executive Director of the GHSA. “We can only recommend that they suspend playing. The final decision will rest with the local school systems, but we hope they heed the Governor’s and the GHSA’s recommendations.”
The GHSA State Literary meets are expected to be made up at a future date. The situation with the remaining spring sports is yet to be determined.
“We will definitely suspend for the next two weeks, as the Governor recommended,” said Hines. “By close of business on Friday, March 27th, we will issue an update.
“We hate to have to make this call, but we must do what is in the best interest of our student-athletes and fans.”