Entire high school basketball playoffs on verge of being cancelled

EAST CENTRAL — The entire high school basketball playoffs could fall victim to the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation labour dispute.

The SHSAA executive committee met Monday evening to discuss next steps in the wake of the breakdown of talks between STF and the provincial government.

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In a statement, SHSAA executive director Lyle McKellar announced that the STF needed to lift sanctions by 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, March 11. Otherwise, the entire playoffs would be cancelled, including regionals and HOOPLA.

Local girls' teams that could be affected include Lake Lenore, St. Brieux, Melfort and Nipawin. Boys' teams that could be affected include Lake Lenore, St. Brieux, Melfort and Humboldt.

In his statement McKellar cited the need for teachers to be available to participate in the events.

“Without Saskatchewan teachers available to participate in SHSAA activities as a coach, official, or organizer, SHSAA events cannot continue to be offered. This belief is consistent with the statements and thoughts provided by previous Executive Councils,” said McKellar in his statement.

If sanctions are lifted before 3:30 p.m., that can mean the playoffs go on as scheduled. If they are not lifted, “ all remaining basketball playoffs will be cancelled due to the lack of teacher involvement in the events, the loss of the qualification process, and the constraints for schools and host sites in planning and preparing for the events.

“It will be most unfortunate if the two sides cannot come to an arrangement that will allow the sanctions to be lifted. Approximately 1,700 students and 300 coaches would be impacted by the cancellation as will several other organizations and entities that are involved with SHSAA and the hosting of basketball playoffs.”

McKellar also stated that the SHSAA executive and office staff would be unavailable for further comment as they wait to find out what the two sides can do to alleviate the situation by the deadline. 

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