HEALTH

Fall high school sports in Utah given green light to ‘Play Ball’

Jul 9, 2020, 9:24 AM | Updated: 4:39 pm
Utah school sports...
High School football has been cleared to begin as soon as next month, which appears to have players from other states now transferring to Utah. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — They’re off and running.

The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) approved fall sports in Utah public schools on Thursday.

The UHSAA board of trustees will reevalute the decision in three weeks as the impact of the coronavirus evolves.

“99 percent of the communication I had received in the last week had been from parents, educators, basically saying our kids are hurting. They’re hurting mentally. They want to return back to the way it was as much as they can,” Robert Cuff, the executive director of the UHSAA, told reporters after the meeting.

Parents can still opt-out of sports activities for their children just as they can for in-person learning, Cuff said.

Sports included in Thursday’s announcement are:

  • Football
  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Girls Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Baseball (1A)
  • Boys Golf (2A-6A)

Some of the safety measures for the fall include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing of facilities and equipment
  • Hand sanitizer being readily available
  • Encouragement of proper social distancing and hygiene etiquette

An executive committee met electronically Wednesday to layout what some of the issues to opening the fall season might be.

“We’re just going to have to wade through this, navigate the best we can,” explained Craig Hammer, executive director of secondary schools for Washington County School District and chairman of the UHSAA’s executive committee. “However they want us to do it is what we have to d0.” 

Orange problem

All schools in Salt Lake City remain in the “orange” recovery phase of the pandemic. That designation limits gatherings at 50 people. Additionally, a mandatory mask policy in the city could also complicate matters.

“We’re all thinking about the start of school, and I know all of you are working on your plans,” Hammer told the group, which mostly consists of high school principals and athletic directors, on Wednesday. “I think we’re all doing the best we can with the information we have.”

High schools remain under the jurisdiction of their county health departments and the guidelines provided to them.

“I think it’s pretty clear you’re going to be at the mercy, and I’m not sure that’s the right way to phrase it, but essentially that’s what it is, you’re going to be at the mercy of local health departments,” Hammer told the committee. “That’s probably going to be your biggest challenge.”

Mid-season adjustments to high school sports may be needed, according to the Deseret News. Those adjustments would most likely come from the direction of local health agencies and the school districts.

“We understand and acknowledge that it may not be a flow throughout the whole fall season, and there may be some stop and go. There may be some reevaluation and monitoring along the way but at least this is a start to say to our schools, ‘We’re ready to move forward. We need your help,’” Cuff said.

UHSAA canceled all spring sports through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year due to COVID-19.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jackson

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water released this week

Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water was released Wednesday by Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies.
11 hours ago
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Wednesday two new cases of avian influenza....
Mark Jones

Two new cases of avian influenza announced Wednesday

Two new cases of avian influenza have been confirmed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. The new cases are in Iron and Utah counties.
1 day ago
Utah Naloxone...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Naloxone and law enforcement reach milestone in preventing overdose deaths

Utah Naloxone reports over 600 lives in Utah have been saved thanks to law enforcement's use of naloxone (Narcan®).
3 days ago
Primary Children's Medical Center has canceled some scheduled surgeries and other procedures this w...
Simone Seikaly

Citing rising RSV cases, Primary Children’s delaying some surgeries

Primary Children's is delaying pre-scheduled and non-emergency procedures that would require an inpatient stay.
3 days ago
Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respira...
Brenda Goodman and Raenu Charles, CNN

Shortages of antivirals, antibiotics compound stress of a rough season for viral illnesses in kids

Shortages of key medications used to treat common childhood illnesses like flu, ear infections, and sore throats are adding to the misery of this year's early and severe respiratory virus season.
8 days ago
Officials at Weber State University are considering a change to the student health services current...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Weber State University considers outsourcing student health care

Right now, the health center at Weber State provides low-cost care to students and does not require any form of insurance.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Fall high school sports in Utah given green light to ‘Play Ball’