LHSAA delays summer rules
Start date of May 17 moves to June 8 for all sports
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Executive Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to continue a prohibition on high school sports activities through at least June 8.
The committee moved back the earliest date schools would be allowed to host any summer workouts from the original start date of May 17 by three weeks, citing a passage from a statement released May 1 in which Executive Director Eddie Bonine said, “My biggest concern was potentially the inconsistency in the implementation within our membership from public schools, private schools, parish to parish.”
The delay will give schools in areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic additional time to prepare to bring student-athletes back on campus for offseason workouts and practices.
The LHSAA said it continues to work with the state Department of Education, Office of Public Health and the Governor’s Resilient Louisiana Commission to gather information needed to develop a plan to safely return to athletic activities at school sites.
Westlake head coach John Richardson said he is eager to start working on the season, but understands the LHSAA’s decision.
“We are all anxious to start, but I do understand that we have to have some guidelines to operate by,” Richardson said. “These are unchartered waters we are in. Our players and coaches are ready to get going, especially after missing so much of the offseason already.”
No team in the state was permitted to participate in spring football practice and will be allowed an extra week of preseason practice in pads to make up for that, the LHSAA said.
Coaches say they are hopeful that the lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order on Friday would lead the LHSAA to allow a degree of on-campus activities immediately, citing increased safety of athletes who do not have access to supervised workouts while campuses are closed.
Staff writer Rodrick Anderson contributed to this story.