MIAA and IAAM formally announce cancellation of 2020 Spring season

by Gary Adornato

Following last Friday’s announcement by Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon that Maryland schools would remain closed at least through May 15th, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state’s two largest private school athletic conferences, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), have officially ended any hope of resuming any form of spring sports in 2020.

Both associations had held out of hope of staging an abbreviated spring season, had schools reopened on April 27th. On Tuesday, however, the MIAA and IAAM released the following joint statement:

The MIAA and IAAM would like to provide an update following Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon’s press conference on Friday, April 17, 2020 extending the on-site closure of Maryland schools through May 15, 2020. In light of this announcement, the MIAA and IAAM have made the formal decision to cancel the remainder of the 2020 spring sports season. In addition, there will be no league supported playoffs or championships.

“On behalf of the IAAM, I want our student-athletes to know how very hard it is to make the formal call to end the spring season,” said IAAM Executive Director Sue Thompson. “The last month has been a whirlwind of challenges for our programs and teams. I know that so many of our Member Schools are doing very creative things right now to celebrate seniors and their teammates and that has been wonderful to see but the fact is – we are all missing the games, matches and contests that would be in full gear right about now.

“The IAAM continues to provide resources and support for our athletic directors and we sincerely look forward to a time when whistles are blowing, fans are cheering and our athletes are back to doing what they do – competing and having fun.”

MIAA Executive Director Lee Dove shared similar thoughts.

“On behalf of the MIAA I think I can speak for all of our ADs when I say that it is with extreme frustration, regret and sorrow that we cannot offer our athletes the opportunity to return to sport participation this spring season,” said Dove. “We held out hope for as long as we could but the continued closure of all schools has made achievement of this goal impossible.

“We all wish our senior athletes the best moving forward and thank them for representing their teams, schools and the MIAA through sport. We are hopeful that the fall sports season will provide a return to a more normal athletic experience for all.”

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) has yet to make a statement regarding its spring season, since the announcement was made to extend school closings last Friday. However, it appears to only be a matter of time.

Neighboring states Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware have already announced that their schools will not reopen this spring, thus ending their athletic seasons. Even if Maryland schools do open to students before the end of the school year, it is difficult to believe that social distancing guidelines will be relaxed enough to allow for athletic competition.