NEW ORLEANS — The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact sports across the country and world, and that includes at the high school level.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has made several changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed the state's schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year and shut down athletic events in the process.
LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine reached out to schools last week with a few of those changes. Here's what you need to know:
- Seniors will not get an extra year of eligibility because of the outbreak.
- Summer workouts are still "up in the air." It all depends on when state officials decide to start reopening.
- Football practice for all schools can begin august second. That's earlier than usual since schools did not have a spring practice period.
Bonine also said he's concerned about some LHSAA schools not following safety guidelines.
"My biggest concern will be the potential of inconsistency of implementation for this allowance between private schools and public schools, as well as, parish to parish and campus to campus," Bonine said.
"The bulk of the responsibility for, if and/or when people are allowed back on to school facilities, will fall on the local education authority," he said.
The coronavirus has also made high school officials push back next month's LHSAA executive committee meeting. That will hopefully be held in person on June 24.
Louisiana's schools were ordered to remain closed through the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year on April 15.
The state's 1,300 public schools, which were first ordered closed on March 16, will finish the school year using online classes and stay shuttered until at least the 2020-21 academic year, according to Governor Jon Bel Edwards. The decision was urged by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and other departments.
More than 2,000 people in Louisiana have died from COVID-19, the deadly respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, with more than 30,000 confirmed cases across the state.