The 2020 high school spring sports season has officially been cancelled following the decision by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to close Iowa schools for the rest of the year.
With the decision to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following CDC and state guidelines, Iowa Department of Education director Dr. Ann Lebo made an announcement today stating that the spring sports season will not take place.
“It’s a sad day for all of spring sports in the state of Iowa,” Ames athletic director Judge Johnston said. “I’m especially deeply saddened for all of the seniors.”
The cancellation of all four girls’ and boys’ spring sports — golf, soccer, tennis and track — was made by the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Education and state officials. It was approved by the IHSAA and IGHSAU boards.
“While we are disappointed that student-athletes will not have the opportunity to compete this spring, we remain committed to our primary goal of keeping students, coaches, officials and communities safe,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “This cancellation comes out of an abundance of caution for the well-being of all. Conducting our spring season would involve moving groups of people in and out of various communities for competition. At this time we believe that is a risk we should not take.”
The decision is a tough pill for athletes to swallow, especially seniors.
“It’s definitely not the end to my high school career that I was expecting,” Gilbert senior Britta Snyder said. “It’s pretty devastating knowing that I won’t get to compete again with my teammates. We had high hopes for this year and I know we are all very disappointed.”
Snyder is a two-time Class 3A girls’ state golf champion and one of the best golfers in the world for her age group. She said it is important to stay positive in the face of the adverse situation.
“Everyone is facing challenges right now and we have to roll with the punches,” Snyder said. “I am still practicing hard, playing lots with my brother and focusing on the future.”
Ballard athletic director Nate Boock said the unfortunate circumstances will help prepare high school athletes when they face adversity later in life.
“It will sting for these athletes right now, but it will make them stronger as young adults,” Boock said. “Unfortunately, we all are dealing with COVID-19 and this is just a bump in the road of life. People have to follow the guidelines set by the CDC and the governor and that will increase our chances at being able to get back to some sense of normalcy.”
The two summer sports — baseball and softball — are suspended, but they have not been cancelled yet.
“As excited as I am that summer sports are still a possibility, it is not the right time to think of that with so many spring athletes losing their seasons and seniors losing out on their last spring seasons and possibly graduation and prom,” Collins-Maxwell athletic director and softball coach Troy Houge said. “This day is a tough one for them. We will move on, but today we shed a tear for the seniors and spring athletes.”
The IHSAA and IGHSAU said practice, competition and postseason dates will be announced when they become available.
“We hope for the best to salvage our summer sports,” Johnston said. “We’ll take that day by day. But the big mission is to get everyone back safe for the 2020-2021 school year.”