After long consideration the Idaho High School Activities Association Board of Directors announced the cancelation of “all spring sport and activity seasons and all state tournaments” on April 17, 2020. “This decision was based on guidelines established by Governor Little, the Idaho State Board of Education, as well as feedback from schools and districts throughout the state,” they said in an announcement on their official website.
“As the COVID-19 situation continued to evolve, it became apparent that these state events could not be held safely and still follow the parameters set by the governor, SBOE and the IHSAA. Our Board of Directors and office staff recognize the importance of participation in education — based activities. We empathize with the students, schools and communities that this decision impacts. The IHSAA also understands the disappointment that this will have on our student participants, especially the seniors who were looking forward to a final culminating event. “
Both Preston and West Side are still determining whether schools will reopen before the end of the year and had held out hope that a compressed season might be possible but now sports have been added to the list of things that are canceled.
“I feel bad for all our seniors,” said Tyson Moser the West Side track coach. “For some of them track is their main sport and they put a lot of work into winter training for this season. I do appreciate the IHSAA waiting to cancel and not doing it prematurely. I feel like they really put a lot of thought into this and they tried every avenue to give these kids at least some type of season.”
The IHSAA held off making a decision until after Governor Little announced the continued closure of the state. At that point it became clear to the IHSAA that no other options were available.
“As coaches we are saddened for the kids,” said PHS track coach Brandon Lyon. “We have a lot of great kids that have worked hard for this season and we were excited to see what happened. But everyone’s health and safety is the number one priority so we absolutely understand the decision that the state board has made. Our kids will continue to work hard and the ones returning next year will be ready for a great season. We feel really bad for our seniors, especially this group, that they don’t get to go out like they envisioned. This group has been incredible since they were freshman. Many have been competing since they were freshmen and we’ve picked up some great ones along the way. Such an incredibly hard working group. We really thought there were special things that could happen this year. But they will take the lessons they have learned over the years and this year and they will go on to the next phase of their lives and continue to grow and succeed. I have no doubt.”
Now the hope is that fall sports will not be affected but only time will tell whether it will be deemed safe enough for the IHSAA to allow the fall programs to begin.
“The IHSAA Board’s highest priority will always be ensuring the health and safety of our student participants, schools and patrons,” stated IHSAA. “Situations like these will allow students to use the life lessons learned in education — based activities to cope with the adversity as well as they possibly can. We look forward to getting together and playing when the time is right and it can be done safely.”