High school students limited to one fall sport

EAST CENTRAL — The Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association (SHSAA) has released dates for a fall return to some high school sports around the end of September, while the fall 2020 senior golf season has been cancelled entirely.

Under the new SHSAA guidelines, a student will be allowed to take part in only one senior program in the fall: football, soccer, cross country, or volleyball, with no student-athlete able to be in more than one program concurrently.

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Brian Grest, Horizon School Division’s administrator of student activities said the impact on local athletes will be “huge”.

“We have a huge number of multi-sport athletes. We got kids who play soccer, and run cross-country, and do volleyball, and were involved in the golf program – which senior golf is now cancelled,” Grest said.

“That certainly limits the number of things some of our students have done in the past.”

The start date for outdoor activities including senior football, senior soccer and senior cross country has been pushed back to Sept. 28.  The start date for indoor senior volleyball is now Oct. 13.

With the current sports and activities guidelines and public health orders, the SHSAA said they will be able to sanction modified competitions, but will not be able to provide a playoff structure leading to provincial championships in cross country, soccer, football or volleyball, for the time being.

“Statements in the Sports and Activities Guidelines indicate the likelihood of transmission between individuals participating in sport, physical activity and recreation in an indoor setting is significantly higher than in outdoor settings,” said Lyle McKellar, the SHSAA’s executive director in a statement.

“The delayed start time for indoor activities was considered to allow more time for those school divisions that choose to offer volleyball as part of extra-curricular programming to effectively develop protocols and plans around sanitization and hygiene related to student use of their facilities.”

Details on the parameters under which each program may proceed are currently under development.

Under SHSAA guidelines, schools in the province would still have to approve their schools' participation, and are open to deciding additional restrictions if necessary.

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