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HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS

Until Further Notice

Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association will reassess basketball tournaments, spring seasons after schools reopen March 30

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While the NCAA has canceled its national basketball, wrestling and hockey tournaments, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association is sticking with its until-further-notice approach, giving hope the spring sports seasons — and the boys and girls state basketball tournaments — may be played.

On Friday night, the MPSSAA released a statement supporting the leadership of the Maryland State Department of Education, and will make the necessary modifications to interscholastic athletics in its member public high schools as outlined.

Thursday, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced the decision to close schools from March 16 to March 27 in response to the coronavirus.

In its statement released Friday evening, the MPSSAA said effective immediately:

• All interscholastic athletic teams are required to cancel all team practices until schools are reopened, which at the earliest will be March 30. After schools reopen, interscholastic athletic teams may not practice until they are authorized by their respective local educational agency to resume practices.

• All interscholastic athletic contests shall be canceled through April 6, which becomes the first available play date for scheduling consideration. All schedules after April 6 must meet the weekly limitations as detailed in the MPSSAA Handbook.

• All interscholastic teams should reconsider contests after April 6 that may include more than 250 individuals.

• All interscholastic athletic teams should reconsider any opponents after April 6 that may be out-of-state.

• The MPSSAA State Basketball Championships remain postponed until further notice.

That offers a glimmer of hope for the Easton girls basketball team — and the 31 other teams that were scheduled to play Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14 in the state semifinals — that it may still get a chance to play for a state title.

The top-seeded Warriors (23-1) were preparing to board a bus for their semifinal at Towson University on Thursday afternoon when they were instead directed into a conference room and told the tournaments had been postponed.

The MPSSAA statement added it will remain vigilant regarding interscholastic athletics and the health and safety of students and school communities.

The MPSSAA will continue to work collaboratively with the MSDE and other relevant state agencies to determine the best route for interscholastic athletics to resume.

Also on Friday, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association — which Saints Peter and Paul's boys athletic program is a member of — released a statement that it was halting play based on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

After a meeting of its executive committee on Friday, the MIAA released a statement Friday night.

“The MIAA has determined that all athletic activities for our member schools will be suspended from Monday, March 16th through Sunday, March 29th. The leadership team will continue to assess conditions over this time period and will release an updated statement for the league on Monday, March 30th. Until then our concern remains focused upon the health, safety and well-being of our student athletes, coaches and supporters.”

Saints Peter & Paul’s boys lacrosse team opened its season Wednesday, March 11 with a 19-11 loss at Severn. The Sabres’ girls lacrosse team was two games deep into its season, defeating St. Mary’s Ryken, 15-9, and losing, 11-6, to Severn. And the golf team had registered a 15½-5½ victory over Boys Latin.

Gunston School, which was on spring break, also will follow the two-week hiatus for sports. The Herons’ girls lacrosse team was the only team to have started its season with a 17-7 victory over Key School on March 5.

Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Haufe. Email me at bhaufe@stardem.com

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