Alabama High School Athletic Association sports in the state will come to a halt for the time being, effective the end of Tuesday night.
Athletic events in the Alabama Independent Schools Association will shut down following play Saturday night and remain that way through April 5.
In the latest development from the coronavirus, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Education mandated late Friday that all public schools in the state close following classes on Wednesday for two and a half weeks.
The AISA, which does not fall under the directive, is leaving it up to individual schools to decide on remaining opened or closed, said AISA official Roddie Beck.
Following Ivey’s announcement, the Alabama High School Athletic Association released a statement, saying all athletic activities “including but not limited to, contests, practices, weightlifting and conditioning are hereby suspended during this time.”
The AHSAA release added, “At the end of the 2.5 week school closure period, the AHSAA will reevaluate health conditions and determine the status of spring sports championship play.”
The association said more updates, including an updated FAQ on Monday, would be provided at www.ahsaa.com.
AISA officials, meanwhile, did not suspend practices for its member schools, saying “This will be a school decision but school officials should be mindful of the risk factors associated and should follow all CDC and ADPH guidelines and recommendations.”
The AISA was hopeful that all its sponsored activities could resume on April 6, but said it “could change as the AISA state office and athletic committee continues to monitor the situation.”
The AHSAA did not reveal any changes or cancellations to postseason area tournaments and state tournaments.
The AISA, in its release, indicated that it was “likely that changes will have to be made due to time constraints,” but that it was too early to tell.
Both the AHSAA and AISA hold state championships in May in Montgomery, but those could be in danger as the city of Montgomery has suspended usage of their facilities for the time being.
Although some schools, especially in the Montgomery area, had cancelled athletic events, most in the Wiregrass were still being played at most places Friday, though in some cases with some limitations.
The AHSAA sent a release out early Friday morning the Department of Public Health recommended that all events “with 500 or more in attendance outside of the school’s student body should be cancelled or limited to the recommended number.”
To that end, Friday’s Dothan High Terry Collins Memorial Tournament saw changes that included moving some of the games to Westgate Park with the others remaining at James Oates Park. Three teams dropped out early Friday, leaving 12 remaining teams plus the junior varsity tournament was cancelled. The tournament wraps today.
The AHSAA also announced that its hall of fame banquet scheduled for next Monday was moved to June 22.
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star basketball games were played Friday night in Clinton, Miss., though without fans except for family members and coaches.
No decision had been made yet about the annual Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Banquet scheduled for April 13 in Birmingham. AHSAA spokesperson Ron Ingram, in an email, said a decision would come on Monday.