Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday, May 20, that summer athletic seasons may be conducted for high school baseball and softball following a suspension due to COVID-19.
The announcement approved the reopening of school facilities and the start of practices for Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and Iowa High School Athletic Association sanctioned summer sports. Fans will be permitted at games.
The IGHSAU Board and IHSAA Board met and both groups voted to approve resuming the 2020 summer seasons under Iowa Department of Education guidelines.
Member schools are to follow reopening guidance entitled “Summer Sports” and “Use of School Facilities” as supplied by the Iowa Department of Education, with recommendations based on conversations with the IGHSAU, IHSAA, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the governor’s office.
“The IHSAA thanks Dr. Ann Lebo, Governor Reynolds, Dr. Pedati, the IDPH and all who have worked diligently to develop these guidelines to help us conduct a baseball season,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said.
“We trust that our administrators, coaches, umpires and fans will responsibly follow the guidelines in place to keep each other safe. This is terrific news and is a step toward getting our student-athletes reconnected to the activities that mean so much to them.”
Spring sports seasons never began and were ultimately canceled on April 17 following the cancellation of in-person K-12 schooling.
“The guidelines from the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health will enable us to safely move forward with a softball season,” IGHSAU executive director Jean Berger said. “We are grateful for their leadership and support.
“We know the games will have different circumstances. We will all have to work together to keep everyone safe. We are confident that we are up to this challenge.”
The IGHSAU and IHSAA plan to issue further sport-specific guidance this week.
Both organizations plan to conduct their state tournaments at their previously announced venues, with IGHSAU softball at Fort Dodge and IHSAA baseball at Principal Park in Des Moines.
Per guidance from the Iowa Department of Education, coach-athlete contact for all in-person, out-of-season sports is suspended until July 1.