The Montana High School Association isn’t ready to give up on the spring sports season just yet.
A glimmer of hope remains after the Montana High School Association executive board met via conference call on Thursday, spring sports postponed two more weeks to fall in line with Governor Steve Bullock’s April 24.
However, the MHSA now has a hard deadline if school isn’t resumed in person by May 4.
If school doesn't resume by May 4, spring activities are canceled.
Golf, tennis, softball, track and field and music won’t resume either.
Postponing their seasons into late May or even June is also off the table.
Complete cancellation was discussed, but not a decision the board was prepared to make.
“It was one of the options. Other states like Wyoming canceled on Monday, Oregon canceled (Wednesday), but they also canceled school," said Mark Beck, MHSA Executive Director "Our board looked at that, but they were saying, ‘Let’s keep some hope out there and see what happens. Who knows what will happen in Montana, so let’s keep it going until we can get to the date where we won’t be able to have a format that would be feasible."
Should school and sports resume, the MHSA board is already prepared to adjust as necessary.
“If we do get back, then what will the guidelines be at the time? We’re ready for that, too, we’re always prepared. Will we be able to take a bus with 40 people on a bus? Will they have to split and take two buses?" said Beck. "Will we be able to even have fans with the social distancing guidelines and requirements that would be in place at the time? We’re looking at all that.”
Additional changes could include practicing on Sundays or twice per day, canceling district track meets entirely and even moving the state golf and tennis meets to a later date, though no later than the current final weekend of May 23.
Hope remains but the hard deadline of May 4 certainly brings finality.