UPDATED: TSSAA Releases Statement on Coronavirus

COVID-19 has greatly impacted the sports world.

The final indoor meet of 2020 in New York was canceled late Thursday night.

The TSSAA postponed the state basketball tournament. Many other states have canceled winter championships.

At this time there has been no official word from the TSSAA regarding spring sports, including track and field.

The NCAA officially cancelled winter and spring championships on Thursday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused cancellations across the world in professional and collegiate athletics. 

Locally, the TSSAA was originally going to play the state basketball tournament behind closed doors. But then on Thursday afternoon, they officially announced that the tournament would be postponed until further notice.

Friday afternoon, the TSSAA released the following statement regarding spring sports.

As the situation continues to evolve daily with COVID-19, we have received a number of inquiries from schools/school systems who are considering suspending classes and/or extracurricular activities for an extended period of time. We are also aware that conversations are taking place at the state and federal level which may impact travel, extracurricular activities and the educational system as a whole.

We would like to remind you that there is no TSSAA requirement for schools to play regular season games in spring sports. We realize that a number of districts and regions use regular season results for seeding purposes at postseason tournaments. We encourage administrators to begin conversations with other schools in your district/region to discuss how these cancellations will be treated for the purposes of postseason seeding. Should your district/region choose to play a postseason tournament, all schools in your district/region that wish to participate in the tournament must be included in the bracket regardless of how many games each school has played during the regular season.

Scheduling and participating in regular season contests during the spring is totally left up to the discretion of the administration and/or LEA of the schools involved. We realize that the situation is changing rapidly and events around the country are influencing what discretion can or cannot be given to administrators or LEA. We will continue to monitor the situation and we encourage each member school to consult with their local health department and medical professionals to help with these decisions. Please continue to review the key planning considerations for event planning should you decide to allow regular season play.

This was the statement from the TSSAA when they announced that the state basketball tournament was being postponed.

Following the conclusion of the girls' state basketball tournament quarterfinal round today, we are suspending the remainder of the girls' state tournament and next week's boys' state tournament. Whether we will be able to reschedule these events will depend on the length of the suspension and the availability of facilities.

We intended to conduct the tournaments with restricted attendance as we announced earlier. However, today has seen the suspension or cancellation of championship events by the NCAA and multiple collegiate conferences including the SEC tournament that was being played nearby; the suspension of regular season play in the NBA and the NHL; the closure of university campuses and of several Tennessee public school systems; and the suspension or cancellation of high school championships in multiple other states.
COVID-19 is a public health threat, a threat to our student-athletes and our school communities. With the actions being taken all around us, including the action of our host university MTSU in sending all students away from campus, we believe it would be irresponsible and contrary to the public interest for us to continue our tournaments at this time and risk contributing to the spread of the virus.

We will provide further updates as this pandemic evolves, including updates on whether we will be able to reschedule these tournaments.

There won't be any practices or meets in the next couple of weeks in East Tennessee for Knox County schools.

Here's a statement this afternoon via their Twitter account (@KnoxSchools).

Knox County Schools has cancelled all school-sponsored and community events from March 13-22, 2020. This includes athletic practices and events, musical events and club meetings.

We will continue to update you as information becomes available to us regarding outdoor track and field. The TSSAA has a board of control conference call meeting on Tuesday. We will update you all when that meeting takes place.

In the meantime, if your meet has been cancelled, please let us know.

Email managing editor Will Boling (@wboling@milesplit.com) so we can update our meet calendar with cancellations and keep you all in the loop.