High school athletics: LHSAA sets June 8 as earliest start date for summer workouts

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Schools will not be able to hold sports activities under the LHSAA’s Summer Rules until June 8, according to a memo sent Wednesday by Executive Director Eddie Bonine to member schools’ athletic directors, principals, head coaches and parish superintendents and athletic directors.

Normally, summer rules begin on the last day of school in each parish. For Bossier Parish schools, that is officially May 21. Of course, the state’s schools have been closed since March 16 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The memo was sent after a Zoom meeting of the LHSAA’s Executive Committee. According to the memo, the committee heard updates from the Executive Committee Liaison for the Louisiana Department of Education, the Director of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association and the Director of the Louisiana High School Officials’ Association. 

The vote by the executive committee to postpone summer activities until June 8 was unanimous after taking “into account any/all information provided by updates, inter-committee discussion and staff recommendation,” the memo stated

Normal football-related activities during the summer months include 7-on-7 games, non-contact practices and workouts, and weightlifting sessions.

In Bossier Parish, the beginning of the teams’ summer offseason programs will also hinge on the school board’s allowing the facilities to be open. Currently all schools, including sports facilities, are off limits to all students.

Parkway head football coach Coy Brotherton said Wednesday that his tentative plan was to start summer workouts June 1. Now the Panthers will have to wait at least a week beyond that.

The memo states the “the primary concern of the LHSAA is to look out for the safety and well-being of all student-athletes, coaches, and anyone else who may be involved with the summer programs.”

On Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana will begin the process of reopening the economy under Phase I, which will last three weeks. The governor said he will announce on June 1 whether Phase II will go into effect June 5.

No “contact sports,” including football, basketball, soccer and wrestling, are allowed under Phase I with group sizes not exceeding 10, according to the state’s K-12 Supportive Guidance and the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance.

In Phase II, only “limited contact sports,” including cheerleading, baseball, softball, volleyball and gymnastics,” will be allowed. Gatherings of 25 or more, including adults, will be permitted.

Here is the complete memo.