BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Catholic elementary and middle schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge have decided to suspend extra-curricular athletics for the fall semester.
There are approximately 25 Catholic elementary and middle schools in the diocese whose levels of academic instruction and sports programs run through the eighth grade. The suspension applies to all school sports, such as football, boys and girls basketball and volleyball, as well as auxiliary sports like swimming, cross country, and soccer.
Not all schools compete in all fall sports, so the suspension will apply differently depending on each school’s athletic program.
The decision to suspend play resulted from a consensus on the part of the schools’ principals in collaboration with the Catholic Schools Office.
Athletic competition at diocesan high schools is not affected by this decision. High school athletic programs are governed by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
The Catholic Schools Office issued the following statement in announcing its decision:
“Catholic elementary and middle schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge reopened in August with appropriate procedures in place to mitigate the chance of COVID-19 transmission on campus. The health and safety of students and staff were of primary importance in the decision to reopen school buildings in service to students and families. With that focus, it has been determined that extra-curricular athletics will not be held during the first semester of this school year. With time, it is hoped that it will be possible to consider resuming sports programs in elementary and middle schools during the spring semester. These are extraordinary times that have caused us to take this extraordinary action. School leaders are grateful for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders as decisions are made to ensure safety of all. We share the disappointment of our students, their families, our faculties and staffs, and the communities in which our athletic teams have participated for decades. We all pray for a safe environment in the spring that will permit a return to spirited sports competition.”
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