In response to the recent news of the Arkansas Activities Association’s temporary suspension of all high school sports in the state, Resident Press contacted the AAA for a clarification of this directive.
With all of the AAA officials in Hot Springs to wrap-up the state basketball tournament finals that began last night and were to have continued today and Saturday, RP was able to contact a AAA official to ask questions to clarify the information in the email above that was sent to member schools yesterday. As the email states, the AAA, “will suspend all spring interschlatic competition starting Sunday, March 15, 2020 until Monday, March 30, 2020. On Monday, March 30th the AAA will reassess the COVID-19 situation, and announce further plans.” The AAA official that spoke with RP today by email clarified the release by saying, “Our announcement affects competition only. Practice decisions will be made by the local school district.” It is unknown to RP at this point as to how local school districts will decide if their teams will continue to practice, or, how they will manage practices if they choose to practice during the AAA suspension.
School districts in Arkansas are scheduled to be closed for spring break the week of March 23 – March 27. All school districts in Arkansas are closed the same week in March every year for spring break. Many schools and organizations have made plans to utilize this week in addition to days next week, or by extending spring break an additional week to close schools to separate individuals for a long enough period to potentially slow or stop the transmission of the virus. This is a strategy that schools have used over the years for flu outbreaks, staph and other infectious disease epidemics.
When RP asked the AAA about a possible time frame for the resumption of the state basketball tournament, the official responded, “Because the situation is fluid, we have no additional information regarding the basketball finals.”
Resident Press will continue to follow this story to share information with our readers regarding how local school districts are reacting to the AAA directive, and, of course, any new information from the AAA regarding their reassessment of the suspension of play that they plan to do on March 30.