THOMASTON, Ga. (WTOC) - There will be no more high school sports in Georgia for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, ending the spring sports season across the state.
The Georgia High School Association announced the decision Thursday afternoon, one day after Governor Brian Kemp announced the closure of schools for the remainder of the academic year. No practices and activities will be allowed until further notice.
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that all GHSA activities and sports are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year,” GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines said in a statement. “I especially want to commend the graduating seniors who have not only missed most of the spring season but prom, senior nights, awards ceremonies, possibly graduation, and spent the last few months away from their friends and classmates. Our seniors have a great deal to be proud of and while this is not the way any of us wanted it to end, I want to thank them for a job well done.”
The GHSA says there are no plans to grant a fifth year of eligibility, despite “quite a few requests.” This would mean the end of the high school career for senior student-athletes across Georgia.
“As sad and disappointing as this spring has been, there is a backward trickle effect and there are many unintended consequences associated with waiving this by-law,” Hines says. “The culmination of all activities of a student is to lead to graduation and this will have taken place for our seniors. This is not the situation any of us would like to be in but the 8-semester rule will remain in effect.”
The GHSA says no decisions have been made about summer activities, and the league is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and will update decisions as information becomes available.