Most of the news from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association was good for Southwest Louisiana on Wednesday, as the group agreed to keep the baseball and softball state championship tournaments in Sulphur next year and voted to keep the boys basketball state tournament at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles for the next two years.
The girls basketball state tournament, which had been played in Lake Charles the past two seasons, was awarded to Hammond, which last hosted the event in 2017. Since then the tournament went to Alexandria for two years and Lake Charles for two years.
Lake Charles has hosted the boys tournament since 2014.
Both the boys and girls tournaments will feature non-select schools only, as was the case this year for the first time. Previously, a single site hosted all semifinal and championship games.
Last year, select schools played football and basketball semifinals and finals at locations of their choosing, primarily on the campus of the higher-seeded team.
The baseball and softball tournaments will stay in Sulphur through a one-year extension after those tournaments were canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The basketball tournaments were two-year bids.
The softball tournament has been played at Frasch Park in Sulphur since 2001. McMurry Park has hosted all classes of the baseball tournament since 2014. Prior to that, the baseball tournaments were spread through several sites, with each hosting one, two or three classes. Sulphur had been one of several hosts in both 2012 and 2013.
The LHSAA also voted to allow summer rules to begin on Monday, which means athletes will be allowed to return to campus for workouts. The LHSAA published a set of health guidelines schools should follow as they attempt to safely restart athletic activities.
The beginning of summer rules was pushed back from May 17 in hopes of allowing schools in areas hit hardest by the pandemic more time to prepare for restarting athletics. Most of the state is set to advance Friday to Phase II of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ reopening program, although Orleans Parish will remain in Phase I.