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story.lead_photo.caption England’s Kevante Davis (1) parades across the Bank OZK Arena court in Hot Springs with the Class 2A boys championship trophy after the Lions’ 68-57 win over Earle on Thursday. It was the fourth and last of the state championship games played last week with no decision yet on if the remainder of the games will be played or if spring sports will resume because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

There haven't been any changes implemented by the Arkansas Activities Association as it pertains to a timetable on a decision on completing the high school basketball state finals or the resumption of spring sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization did release a statement Monday that directly affects both situations.

A dead period has been instituted for all schools that are members of the AAA, beginning today through March 30. According to the announcement, neither coaches nor registered volunteers are allowed to participate in any kind of recreational activities with student-athletes during that two-week span. Such disallowed activities include, but are not limited to practice, training, weightlifting, tryouts, competitions or travel.

AAA Executive Director Lance Taylor said the directive was a result of what was essentially passed down by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education. The decision was made in part to assist in curbing the spread of the disease, which continues to cause suspensions and cancellations of major sports leagues and events nationwide.

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"You can't even practice during this time now," Taylor explained. "They want everyone at home and not be together in groups. They're trying to stop the spread of all of this, which is why we're considering this a dead period.

"All athletic facilities at the schools will be shut down and locked, too. We're just trying to do our part in all of this."

If the circumstances allow, all schools across the state are expected to reopen March 30, which is when the AAA will reanalyze its plans for the high school sporting events that were put on hold. Only a third of the state championship basketball games were completed last week and the state baseball, softball and soccer tournaments are scheduled to begin May 14-16, with the title games set for May 22-23 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Since the AAA has suspended all activities, students who play for a school's athletic team are not allowed to participate in any extramural events or competitions that don't involve his or her school. Any student-athlete who does so will not be eligible to play in school-related activities, if or when the AAA lifts the imposed restrictions that were put in place on Thursday.

Sports on 03/17/2020

Print Headline: AAA member schools begin dead period


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