MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) is looking at new approaches to start Fall activities in areas of the state where participation may not be allowed due to local health department requirements.
As of now, if a school district has decided to begin the school year with a dual learning system, meaning students will attend in-class sessions and virtual learning sessions, their students are allowed to participate in school activities. On the other hand, any school in St. Louis City or St. Louis County that has opted for virtual learning only to start the Fall semester is not allowed to let students participate in after school activities, including sports.
Pattonville High School is one school that has made the switch from allowing students and their families to pick between dual learning or virtual learning. Last Wednesday the district announced they will move forward with 100 percent distance learning until further notice. Since the district has decided to go virtual, they are no in a position where student-athletes who play a Fall sport may not have a season.
MSHSAA released a statement of Twitter on Monday stating their staff and the Board of Directors will discuss “any possible changes to the start of fall activities” and are looking at “a wide range of ideas.” This may include but is not limited to the postponement of Fall activities until the Spring, the ability of schools only offering distance learning to their students to still participate in activities while not holding in-person classes, as well as possible regional competition outside of the traditional season once a school is offering in person learning.
MSHSAA Communication Director Jason West says their staff is open to any and all ideas and have heard many suggestions from districts, coaches, and parents.
Some community and school leaders believe that if schools are not safe enough to attend for learning then it is not safe enough to allow student-athletes to play. Others say that it is in the best interest for students to provide them an outlet through after school activities and sports despite if they are there physically learning or not.
An anonymous source says that we will see direct decisions being made in regards to high school sports once elections are over and municipal sanctions are re-evaluated.