MISSOULA, Mont. — The inevitable is here -- Montana spring sports are officially canceled. The Montana High School Association and executive director Mark Beckman sent a press release after Gov. Steve Bullock’s press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Bullock’s address announced the option to reopen schools beginning Thursday, May 7, which is three days after MHSA’s initial deadline of May 4.
Montana is one of the final 15 states to cancel high school spring sports.
The following is a press release from the Montana High School Association:
As you are aware, the Governor has issued a reopening plan for the state which included allowing local school districts to determine allowing in-person instruction on May 7th.
Because of the previous MHSA Board action, resumption of spring activities depended on our student’s ability to return to in-person instruction without restrictions by May 4th and if in-person instruction didn’t resume by that time without restrictions, spring activities would be cancelled. The spring 2020 is cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting communities across our country.
The MHSA Executive Board proceeded with cautious optimism holding on to hope to realistically resume spring activities. It would be difficult to conduct meaningful spring activities from this late date, with many schools deciding not to return to in-person instruction, and with the social distancing recommendations still in place along with many other factors.
We empathize with all the students, schools and communities that this decision impacts, and especially with the many seniors that have shown maturity and resolve as their culminating year of high school has been impacted beyond activities and athletics due to this COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2020 will not be forgotten.
We look forward to the resumption of high school activities during the 2020-2021 school year with some level of normalcy. Our office will be entirely focused on contingency plans for the 2020 fall season and beyond, should they be needed.
We will continue to communicate as state, local and health agencies keep us informed of new public health guidelines.