Six Wyoming high school sports set for fall start under COVID-19 restrictions - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Six Wyoming high school sports set for fall start under COVID-19 restrictions

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) said on Tuesday, July 28 that six high school sports are set to begin on time as schools move toward the 2020-2021 fall semester.

The WHSAA said that the Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming Department of Education have approved their “Smart Start Fall Sports Guidelines” to allow sports to go on amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practices for the six fall sports are scheduled to begin as follows:

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  • 4A football, golf and tennis: Monday, Aug. 10.
  • Cross country, 1A-3A football, girls swimming and diving, volleyball: Monday, Aug. 17

The WHSAA provide COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions for each of the six sports as well as “spirit” rules for cheerleading teams online:

“The WHSAA Board of Directors will be giving further guidance to the schools concerning the six fall sports to assist them in their planning of social distancing for each sport,” the WHSAA says. “Reducing the total number of competitors at each event will be a priority.”

“The Board will also be considering adjustments to culminating events to reduce numbers as well. The WHSAA is asking everyone to join together to make completing each sport this fall a reality. Our students deserve everyone’s best effort.”

The WHSAA also released statements from WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird and Wyoming Superintendent Jillian Balow regarding fall sports:

  • WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird: “We are excited for our students. We appreciate the WDH and WDE working with us to be able to approve a plan we all believe can safely return our students to their sport. This is a great example of how working together will allow our students to continue to enhance their educational experience. We know the mental and emotional issues those students experienced last spring when track and soccer were cancelled. We realize this is only step one in making sure this fall is successfully completed,” Laird emphasized. This is going to take a concerted effort by all involved. The focus is on providing the opportunity for the kids. I have complete confidence that our administrators, coaches, parents, and fans will join forces and follow the guidelines to benefit our students. With the ever-changing conditions that exist during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know we are going to have to be flexible and ready to adjust. We believe we have those plans in place for each sport.”
  • Superintendent Jillian Balow: “I cannot overstate the importance of allowing students to safely participate in activities this fall. Activities are essential to the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of our children and fundamental to our mission in K-12 education of building character and necessary skills in our youth. My staff, the WHSAA, and the Wyoming Department of Health have diligently created a framework for activities that schools and communities can use this fall. It will take all of us, including parents
    and the students, doing our part to make this fall successful.”

The WHSAA offers further details regarding fall sports online.