Columbia, Mo.- The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has been, and continues to be, in communication with the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, the Governor’s office, state and local health officials and organizations, as well as other high school associations in the Midwest. The Association will continue to review the medical guidance of the CDC, and all breaking information regarding COVID-19 to make the best decision possible with the information available to us.
“As of today, the CDC has recommended that for the next eight weeks organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.,” said Dr. Kerwin Urhahn, MSHSAA Executive Director. “Many of the host venues and facilities for our events are connected with colleges and universities that are closing their campuses. These issues directly and wholly affect MSHSAA districts and state series events.”
Below, are outlined information on remaining events this Spring in the order that the culminating event is scheduled to take place.
Speech, Debate and Theatre
After much discussion and weighing of numerous options, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the remaining District Tournaments as well as the State Speech, Debate, and Theatre Championships. Due to the loss of host sites as well as judges the two remaining District Tournaments could not be completed. In addition, these events exceed the current recommendations regarding the size of gatherings. Combined with the uncertainty of the next two months and possibly beyond, this difficult and disappointing step had to be taken.
For the same reasons, the remaining District Festivals for both large groups and solo and ensembles as well as the State Music Festival will be cancelled. Due to the inability to keep or secure host sites for the events, as well as judge/adjudicator cancellations under the current circumstances, the Association must take this unfortunate step. Only two of twenty District festivals been completed at this time. Given information and recommendations made today it became apparent that it will not be possible to conclude the festivals due to the vast size of these events and timeline of the current situation. Alternative methods of submission were discussed but found to be lacking in consistency and suitability to maintain a valid process.
Districts are not scheduled to take place until April 18th. The possibility more information could be known and new recommendations available by the end of March, it is the hope of the Association the District Tournaments and State Series may be completed. The MSHSAA office will evaluate and determine if the post-season tournaments may be completed as they get closer.
As of today we are not canceling any Spring Sport Championships. The MSHSAA Office will stay in communication with state and local officials to help determine the possibility of holding the championships either as scheduled or rescheduling them as long as schools are still in session.
“If we are able to maintain locations for hosting the championship series, and schools are wishing to participate in the post season, we will conduct the championships,” Urhahn said.
“We are not canceling any Spring sports at this time!”
Also note that if a school has determined that they are closing for a period of time due to COVID-19, no practices or games should occur during that time. If a school is still in session, then it is the local school’s decision on practices and games.
“This is consistent with our prior efforts to execute a measured response under the guidance of the appropriate health and governmental authorities,” said Urhahn.