Southwest Missouri schools react to MSBA recommendations to “cancel or revise” sports games and practices

The Missouri School Boards' Association has released guidelines and recommendations for opening schools in the state.

The Missouri School Boards’ Association’s recommendations and guidelines for the re-opening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic include recommendations for athletics.

“This is way bigger than just sports,” says Webb City junior football player Grant Goltra, ” But for our team and our community, football means a lot. Fall sports mean a lot.”

The MSBA recommends schools cancel or revise activities that bring “large numbers of students and the public together”, including athletics games and practices.

A few local schools say before players and fans panic, those recommendations are just that.

“The MSBA has no regulatory or legislative authority over schools,” says Joplin High School Athletic Director Matt Hiatt, “Their role in important, and their role is to provide guidance and samples to schools.”

“It’s maybe their best case scenario,” Webb City High School Athletic Director John Roderique says, “Maybe just striking up talking points and things that people need to consider.”

High school student-athletes have already been sidelined for a couple months.

Those preparing for fall sports are hopeful they will get a chance to re-join their teams after missing out on important preparation in the spring.

“Winning the state championship like that, everybody is already ready for the next year,” Goltra adds, “We’ve been ready for a while now.”

With things changing quickly and the fact the fall season is still months away, schools say it’s still too early to know what things will look like in August.

“We will obviously rely on guidance from MSHSAA, our local health authorities and the governing bodies of schools and school athletics as we get closer and closer to that time.”

Click HERE to check out the complete guidelines and recommendations from MSBA.