HELENA -- Spring sport athletes may learn their future a little sooner than originally planned.
The Montana High School Association announced it will re-evaluate the spring sports season on Thursday, after originally postponing all sporting events until Monday, April 13 due to the novel coronavirus.
MHSA executive director Mark Beckman posted an update to the MHSA website, stating, "The Executive Board has scheduled a conference call on Thursday morning, April 9th to review the status of spring activities. The Board will determine the proper course of action relevant for spring activities in relation to the current information available from the Governor, State and Local Health Departments and the CDC."
Beckman explained that the MHSA staff and its executive board are looking at multiple options for different scenarios, including the potential to resume, delay or completely cancel the spring sports schedule.
"If spring activities can resume, the options staff are working on will allow for the possibility that all MHSA spring activities may resume, and that they may be in a completely different format from the originally scheduled event," Beckman's letter explained. "Each sport and activity are different and as we review how those activities may resume, if possible, we understand there are different dynamics that may lend to an event not being able to be held. We are very cognizant of the possibility of conflicts especially in May however the Board will mitigate those conflicts to attempt to treat all activity participants in a consistent and fair manner."
The MHSA was forced to cancel its state basketball tournaments at the conclusion of games on Friday, March 13, after the first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were discovered in Montana. Days later, on March 16, Beckman announced that the MHSA would suspend spring sports with a plan to re-evaluate on Monday, April 13.
Montana athletes, coaches and fans remain hopeful a spring sports season will exist, whether shortened or extended, despite multiple cancellations around the country. The NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA canceled their spring sports seasons entirely, while professional organizations like the NBA, NHL and MLB are each in suspension.