Drop-dead date of May 4 set for high school sports

The Montana high school spring sports season is not canceled. Not yet, anyway.

The Executive Board of the Montana High School Association announced this morning that the suspension of spring sports was extended through April 24. The announcement came after a conference call this morning.

A drop-dead date of May 4 has been set for the season. If students are not able to return to in-person instruction by then, the season will be officially wiped out.

The announcement by the MHSA comes days after neighboring Wyoming canceled its spring sports high school season.

Three days after calling off the high school basketball tournaments following the semifinals because of the coronavirus pandemic, the MHSA suspended all spring activity on March 16. The suspension, which halts all practices, contests meets and festivals, ran until April 13.

Today’s extension syncs the suspension with Gov. Steve Bullock’s stay-at-home order.

“We take seriously the directives from the Governor, State Health Department and (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) for the safety of our students and for their communities,” MHSA Executive Director Mark Beckman said in a statement. “Their safety is our top priority during these challenging times.”

If spring activities are resumed, the MHSA said practice requirement for sports will be five practices from resumption except for golf, which will be the normal two practices required.

Also, postseason formats will be adjusted by the MHSA with Executive Board approval if activities resume.