Eight months into shuffling plans for high school sports during a pandemic, there were still some moves for the LHSAA to discuss on Wednesday.
Updated plans for the outdoor track and field meet set for May 6-8 at LSU and a Mardi Gras-related calendar revision for soccer in 2022 were among the topics at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting at the LHSAA office in Baton Rouge.
“We will communicate more details about the final decisions on several things to the membership (Thursday),” LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said. “Today was simple and painless. There were some things to decide and handle.
“LSU tweaked its schedule by not taking a week off for spring break, which pushed its graduation up so that it lands on the dates of our track meet. We appreciate everything that (LSU) coach (Dennis) Shaver and LSU do for us and we’re working through that.”
LHSAA assistant executive director Adam MacDowell told the committee that multiple options were considered before settling on a plan that will have Class 1A, B and C track teams competing May 6. Classes 2A and 3A will compete on May 7, followed by classes 4A and 5A on May 8.
Logistics for parking and team areas for competitors are among the items being hammered out, along with ticketing for the 50% capacity that will be allowed at Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Meanwhile, assistant executive director Michael Federico said plans to start the 2021-22 soccer seasons a week early to avoid conflicts with Mardi Gras with its LHSAA Soccer championships at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond have been met with some resistance.
“This is something we will continue to talk about,” Federico said. “Moving (the championship) up a week we see as a way of avoiding traffic issues and making it easier to get to and from Hammond.
“Some coaches have pointed out that we make them play during Mardi Gras in the playoffs. It is something we can work through.”
Praise and appeals
- LHSAA president David Federico of Ecole Classique commended the work that Bonine and LHSAA staff have done to complete winter and fall championship events during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Never did I think we would get here and have it go as smoothly as it has,” Federico said.
Bonine credited the work of all the member schools, coaches and athletes, along with the support of health department and state government officials.
As a footnote, Bonine said the LHSAA received no reports of positive cases or contact tracing issues after its February state wrestling tournament. He said no cases nor contact tracing had developed from the LHSAA’s powerlifting meet held almost two weeks ago.
- Multiple schools appeared before the committee to appeal penalty rulings issued by the LHSAA during a closed session. Most involved coaches who were cited for not taking the online rules clinic course on time.
Decisions on the appeals will be sent to the schools in the days ahead.