All fall sports will begin on time, the Wyoming High School Activities Association announced Tuesday.
With the collaboration of the Wyoming Department of Health and the Wyoming Department of Education, the WHSAA’s Smart Start Fall Sports Guidelines were established and approved to return students safely to the six fall sports offered.
“It’s great that we were able to put things in place so the kids get to have sports,” said Tony Hult, Cody High School activities director. “We knew it was probably going to happen but we didn’t know when it was going to happen. It’s nice to have it set so now we can sit down and start working on things.”
Practices are scheduled to begin on Aug. 10 for golf, tennis and 4A football. On Aug. 17, cross country, 1A-3A football, girls swimming and diving, and volleyball will begin their practices.
“We are excited for our students,” WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird said in the Tuesday announcement. “We appreciate the WDH and WDE working with us to be able to approve a plan we all believe can safely return our students to their sport.
“This is a great example of how working together will allow our students to continue to enhance their educational experience. We know the mental and emotional issues those students experienced last spring when track and soccer were canceled.”
In the WHSAA’s Smart Start Fall Sports Guidelines there are some basic overall requirements including social distancing, screening of athletes, coaches and officials, and enhanced sanitation and cleaning measures.
The WHSAA Board of Directors will be giving further guidance to the schools concerning the fall sports to assist them in planning social distancing for each sport. Reducing the total number of competitors at each event will be a priority. The board will also be considering adjustments to culminating events to reduce numbers as well.
“Right now the plan is to have everything as close to normal as possible,” Hult said. “But there are alternative plans in place in case something happens.”
ADs will meet with the WHSAA board Thursday to go over the new guidelines. On Monday there will be a rescheduling meeting as some contests will need to be changed.
“We’ll have a better idea of how things will look after Thursday,” Hult said. “We want to all try to find some common ground so restrictions are similar from one town to the next.”