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MSHSAA Board grants relief to districts, students

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The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Board of Directors provided some needed relief to Missouri school districts who were planning to utilize virtual options during the 2020-2021 school year.

In a meeting Aug. 4, the Board made the decision to allow schools choosing to not meet in person to still be able to participate in MSHSAA activities.

This decision was obviously made due to many districts offering virtual learning opportunities in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board did this under the hardship provision in the MSHSAA Constitution.

They also empowered local school districts to set the criteria that determines whether students have the privilege to represent the district in “interscholastic competition.”

“The Association wants to work with schools to provide as many opportunities as possible,” said MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn in a press release prior to the Board meeting. “For the schools currently planning to start the year as normal, our current hope is that the Fall season will proceed to its fruition.”

Unusual times call for unique decisions needing to be made on behalf of school districts and students.

So MSHSAA’s Board made the right choice here, allowing districts to implement participation plans and granting them relief from having to be so worried about whether or not a certain situation could be in violation of a MSHSAA rule or not.

Districts across the state have enough to worry about right now.

MSHSAA’s Board also eliminated the rule that a team or an individual needs to compete in at least half of their scheduled contests to be eligible for the postseason in their sport or activity.

Since the schedule is so fluid due to COVID-19, this was another great decision by the MSHSAA Board as no district should be penalized for other districts canceling on them or for their district needing to cancel due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

The MSHSAA Board also moved their classification and district assignments release date from Aug. 21 to Sep. 18. Districts now have until Sep. 11 to tell MSHSAA if they will have a sport set to participate in the postseason.

It’s really amazing that Missouri’s extracurricular activities have made it this far at all. Wright County’s four big school districts have student athletes currently on practice fields getting ready to play sports.

And at this current moment in time, spectators may be able to attend games and events that start in the next three weeks. That is, for now…

It is possible that by the time you read this editorial, major announcements could be made statewide when it comes to spectators being allowed to attend events.

Thankfully, it does appear that regardless of what decisions are made, the media will be able to cover an array of activities.

As long as this remains the case, the Wright County Journal will attempt to be diligent in providing the best coverage possible of extracurricular events and contests throughout the county during the upcoming school year.

Please follow our coverage in each issue of the Wright County Journal, look for postings on Facebook and get the latest information on our new website, which is expected to launch in the next two weeks.

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