The Georgia High School Association made the expected official Thursday, canceling all sports and activities for the 2019-20 school year.
The decision was presumed after Wednesday’s announcement by Georgia governor Brian Kemp that the state’s schools would remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year because of the coronavirus.
"Given the announcement yesterday by Governor Kemp, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that all GHSA activities and sports are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year," GHSA executive director Robin Hines said in a statement released on the GHSA website. "I especially want to commend the graduating seniors who have not only missed most of the spring season but prom, senior nights, awards ceremonies, possibly graduation, and spent the last few months away from their friends and classmates. Our seniors have a great deal to be proud of and while this is not the way any of us wanted it to end, I want to thank them for a job well done."
Hines also shot down the possibility of giving students a fifth season of high school athletic eligibility.
“There are no plans to grant an additional year,” Hines said. “As sad and disappointing as this spring has been, there is a backward trickle effect and there are many unintended consequences associated with waiving this by-law. GHSA activities and sports are education-based and exist as an extension of the classroom. The culmination of all activities of a student is to lead to graduation and this will have taken place for our seniors. This is not the situation any of us would like to be in but the 8-semester rule will remain in effect.”
Hines stressed that all GHSA activities and practices are suspended until further notice. The organization has not made a decision on upcoming events like offseason workouts, summer camps, 7-on-7 football and others.
The GHSA didn’t address any potential effects on the start of the 2020-21 school year with sports like football, softball, volleyball and cross country.