UHSAA responds to #LetUsPlay petition after cancellation of spring sports

Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, March 3, 2020 | File photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Shortly after the Utah High School Activities Association announced that all spring sports would be cancelled for the 2020 season, a petition was started asking officials to reconsider the decision. On Tuesday, the UHSAA reaffirmed the decision to cancel spring sports.

Desert Hills vs. Dixie, 4A state baseball championship, St. George, Utah, May 21, 2019 | File photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

“Once the governor and superintendent released their recommendations, our board of trustees quickly came to the decision that the UHSAA would follow suit and cancel all remaining spring activities including state championships,” UHSAA Assistant Director Jon Oglesby said in a press release.

The cancellation of the rest of the spring sports season prohibited team practices and gatherings on campus. Steve Dunham, communications director for the Washington County School District, reiterated this in an interview with St. George News.

“Obviously, we work closely with the UHSAA, but, unfortunately, where the governor has announced that our schools are under this soft closure, we can’t have groups in the buildings,” Dunham said. “If we can’t have groups in the buildings or on our fields, we can’t have the sports.”

Shortly after the move to cancel spring sports, a group of parents and athletes in Utah started the #LetUsPlay petition and made a video asking the governor and the UHSAA to reconsider. The group felt that the decision to cancel spring sports was premature and they hoped the possibility of playing the season would not be taken off the table.

Snow Canyon vs. Bear River softball, St. George, Utah, March 7, 2019 | File photo by David Larson, St. George News

The petition received almost 6,000 signatures, and as a result, the UHSAA board of trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the pandemic and the petition.

“In accordance with the new information in the Governor’s ‘Utah Leads Together 2.0’ plan and the recent recommendations of the UHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the UHSAA Board-of-Trustees reaffirmed the April 14, 2020, board decision to cancel all sanctioned activities for the 2020 spring season, including state championships,” the UHSAA press release states. “The Board-of-Trustees will consider sanctioning 2020-2021 statewide high school competition once all 29 counties move to yellow status.”

Southwest Utah officials recently asked the state to move Washington, Iron and Kane counties to yellow status, or low risk status, and the request was turned down.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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