COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of daily life for citizens around the globe. Face masks are now the new must-have item and many people are staying at home. School activities weren’t spared by the virus, shutting down band and choir concerts, cancelling fine arts competitions, and pushing back Prom.
Archery, soccer, tennis, golf, track, baseball and softball have all been affected by the virus. The first sports-related cancelation affected the Atlantic archery team, who had punched their ticket to Nationals in the first weekend of March. The NASP National tournament was set to kick off on Thursday, May 7 in Louisville, Ky. However, just a few days after qualifying, the team was alerted to the cancelation of the event due to concerns of the coronavirus. Senior Savannah Cameron learned of the change on her birthday and said, “I was devastated because we were supposed to continue practicing until May.” She was looking forward to “being in a different state with my teammates” and the sight of all the targets lined up. “There are hundreds, it’s insane,” she said.
Governor Kim Reynolds recommended Iowa schools close for a previously-undetermined amount of time on Sunday, March 15. The Atlantic Community School District followed her recommendation and began its closure on Monday, March 16. Alongside the statement and subsequent closures, the eight spring sports were forced to push back their start date to Monday, April 13. The two summer sports were able to keep their initial start date of Monday, May 4.
As the situation in the state worsened, the school starting date was pushed back once more. Reynolds canceled school through Thursday, April 30. It was projected that spring sports would kick off alongside school on Friday, May 1. The start date for baseball and softball was changed to Monday, May 18 in order to limit conflicts with spring sports.
However, the final call on the spring sports season was made on Friday, April 17 when Reynolds ordered all Iowa schools to close through the end of the year. With the closure, students’ hopes of a spring sports season were dashed. Freshman Jadyn Reid said, “I was a little upset because I wouldn’t be able to start high school tennis as a freshman.” Reid was looking forward to “practicing and playing with my teammates.”
In a statement made by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Association, the spring sports season was canceled and the summer sports season was suspended. The situation regarding baseball and softball will be reevaluated on or by Monday, June 1. Practice, competitions, and postseason dates will be announced when they become available, according to the two organizations.
All decisions to close school, cancel, and postpone activities were made with guidance with Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Education.