Schools in Indiana will remain closed until June 30, but the directive did leave open a window for a kind of return to normalcy in the summertime.
The statement from the IHSAA says:
“Provided there are no adjustments to Governor Eric Holcomb’s announced plans to re-open the State of Indiana, school-sponsored summer activities may resume on July 1.”
Locally Athletic Directors are optimistic but cautiously optimistic.
A wealth of questions remain to be answered about just how facilities will re-open. While outdoor activities will likely not change a whole lot, indoor facilities such as the weight room and the gym present an entirely different set of questions that remain to be answered.
Local health departments overloaded already have not begun to look at the return to school sports and what guidelines that may entail.
“We will be following guidelines of the State Governors office, CDC, and local health department in regards to the July 1 opening,” said Glenn AD Eric Stephens.
“Culver’s goal is to open back up come July 1st,” said AD Mike Zehner. “Obviously we will have all recommendations from the local and state health departments in place.”
“Those might look different come July 1 than what the current recommendations are,” he added. “Safety of our students and staff is our number one priority.”
At LaVille, AD Will Hostrawser is also looking towards that July 1 date and while he too defers to Governor Holcomb and the local health departments on when and how that will happen he and his staff are preparing for hopefully a beginning to some sort of normalcy.
“We will use things the way we are used to unless otherwise directed,” he said. “That being said, I can see us working with smaller groups initially to be able to keep things at a distance – especially in our weight room facilities.”
“A strict cleaning schedule has already been in place for our facility,” he said. “I am sure our corporation would make sure that the proper materials are available to hold that schedule intact.”
Traditionally there is a “moratorium week” observed around the July 4 holiday but the IHSAA statement went on to say that, “…in light of the amount of time students have been restricted from school and contact with their teammates and coaches, the Association is hereby waiving (that particular rule) for the year 2020.”
The memorandum went on to say that activities “…may occur beginning on Wednesday, July 1 and continue through Saturday, August 1.”
The open facility sessions must be conducted by the normal rules of the limited contact rules of the IHSAA meaning that all sessions must be conducted, “…on campus or at a site where home contests are regularly held.”
Hostrawser anticipates some adjustments to the normal routine of summer activities, once again pending government and health department approval.
“In the limited time frame, our department will work with the coaching staff to create a balanced schedule for all teams to have an opportunity to work with their athletes,” he said. “We need to keep in mind we are all going to be fighting for our shared athletes and the last thing we want to do is run them into the ground.”
“We need to keep in mind that many families have pre-arranged vacations for the moratorium week so we are going to have to work through those,” said Hostrawser. “Finally, I am sure the county fairs will also want their time – that impacts a few of our athletes too. We are going to need to be efficient and flexible in our approach as a coaching staff keeping the best interest of the students in mind.”
So while local schools are hopeful and anxious to get back to some sort of whatever “normal” will now look like, there is still a lot of “wait and see” in current conditions.
As has been the case through the whole pandemic, everything could change tomorrow.