Earlier this week the Arkansas Activities Association released a statement saying that they are preparing to resume sports this fall. There are still a lot of questions on the table regarding numbers for the COVID-19 pandemic and if Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Department of Health will allow sports.
However, Arkansas Activities Association Executive Director Lance Taylor said the Association wants to do all they can do to make sure student-athletes are allowed to participate in activities if in-class teaching resumes this fall.
There have been rumors regarding some states looking at moving spring sports to the fall and fall sports to the spring. This would put sports like baseball, softball, and track in the fall while football would be played in the spring.
Despite rumors on the internet of this potentially happening, Taylor said none of the associations in any state has moved to do this, but the Arkansas Activities Association is “open to anything” in order to try to make sports happen.
Taylor said that his office has received positive feedback in regards to the drills that student-athletes have been able to participate in this summer since workouts were permitted by Governor Hutchinson and the Department of Health, and coaches have done “a great job” of making sure guidelines have been followed.
“We are seeing that the coaches have done a great job,” Taylor said. “I’m going to be honest with you – I think kids are safer at school when there is someone there monitoring them, but when they leave school and they all go out together and they all hang out and they all run around at night, I think that is probably more scary than when they are at school and being supervised, when they are being social distanced, when they are having to wear their mask when they can. I think they are probably more safe at school than they are anywhere else right now besides the ones that may be quarantined in their house.”
Taylor said there has been a high number of student-athletes participating in the summer workouts.
“We have had high numbers. All of the schools I have talked to have had high participation numbers from 85 percent or more of their kids coming back and working out and everything,” Taylor said. “We’ve got some schools that are at 100 percent. I think the kids want these childhood memories and they want to get back and enjoy their childhood years, and that includes activities.”
Taylor also said that coaches are wanting clearance to do inner-squad scrimmage’s and 7-on-7 work, and he hopes clearance will be given to do that soon.