Hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds gave the go-ahead for summer sports to take place in Iowa, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) sanctioned summer sports to begin practice on June 1 and games to start on June 15.
According to a joint press release by the IHSAA and IGHSAU, their respective boards met after the governor’s announcement and each voted to approve resuming the 2020 summer seasons under Iowa Department of Education guidelines. Fans will be permitted to attend games but schools are required to limit the use of bleachers and encourage fans to bring their own chairs or stand. The guidelines state fans should “practice social distancing between different household units and accept personal responsibility for public health guidelines.”
Other guidelines for the 2020 season include no spitting of sunflower seed shells, dugouts only being used for games and concession stands will not be permitted to open. Players and coaches will have their temperatures taken before practices and games. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will not be allowed to participate in practices or games.
“We trust that our administrators, coaches, umpires and fans will responsibly follow the guidelines in place to keep themselves and each other safe, Tom Keating, Executive Director of the IHSAA said. “This is terrific news and is a step toward getting our student-athletes reconnected to the activities that mean so much to them.”
No official word has come from area school programs whether they plan to compete this season. Both organizations plan to hold their respective state tournaments at their previously announced venues, with IGHSAU softball at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge and IHSAA baseball at Principal Park in Des Moines. According to the press release, coach-athlete contact for all in-person, out-of-season sports is suspended until July 1.
To read the full press release, go to https://www.iahsaa.org/summer-sports-return-iowa-high-school-may-20-2020/