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With Thursday's announcement that all schools in the state would remain closed until at least April 17 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Arkansas Activities Association has extended its athletic dead period for all of the organization's member schools as well.

The dead period, which prohibited coaches and registered volunteers from participating in recreational activities, such as practice, training or competitive competitions, with student-athletes through March 30, is now slated to last through April 17, according to a statement released by the AAA on Friday morning.

All athletic facilities at the schools are shut down as well.

AAA Executive Director Lance Taylor said earlier in the week that the ruling was based on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's and the Arkansas Department of Education's initial judgment to close the on-site instruction of Arkansas schools until March 30. Classroom instruction will supposed to restart on that day, but with schools now scheduled to be shut down for an additional three weeks, the AAA's decision to extend the dead period made sense.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

The reported cases of the coronavirus are increasing nationwide, forcing some states to take drastic measures centered around the health and safety of schools. However, with every passing directive handed down by Gov. Hutchinson, the state education department and the AAA, the likelihood that the remaining high basketball state finals will be rescheduled and spring sports like baseball, softball and soccer will be resumed, seems murky at best.

The AAA was expected to reassess both of the issues March 30, but with the recently changed dates, Taylor said the organization will now reanalyze the circumstances on the day that the dead period is tentatively set to end. He did note that no decision had been made concerning either of the situations.

Sports on 03/21/2020

Print Headline: AAA extends athletic dead period until April 17

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