Eagle Nation,

I hope this message finds all of you safe and healthy. We sympathize for our Spring student-athletes who are missing out on the opportunity to compete and have fun with their coaches and friends during the school closure. I can assure you that all of us in the athletic department are missing our kids, too. We are all hopeful that we can see them again soon and resume normal activities. The purpose of this message is to provide as much information as possible about where we stand with our Spring athletic seasons.

As you are aware, MSHSAA guidelines prevent schools from conducting athletic activities during school closures. All athletic competitions and practices for Joplin Schools are cancelled through Friday, April 3. You can see a comprehensive list of Spring athletic competitions that have been cancelled here. Spring schedules on the website have been updated to reflect these cancellations.  If an event is listed in grey, it has been cancelled. There is a possibility that some of these competitions may be rescheduled for later in the Spring.  Once we resume athletic activities, we will post updates to schedules on the athletics website and on twitter @JHS_athletics and @jop_msathletics.

Recently, MSHSAA released a statement that Spring sports championships have not been cancelled, but will be modified in some capacity. In accordance, as of this moment, we are planning to resume all high school Spring sport practices on Saturday, April 4.  Middle school track practices are scheduled to resume on Monday, April 6th. MSHSAA By-Laws require 14 days of conditioning practice for all student-athletes prior to their first competition.  The first competition date will vary from sport to sport based upon competition schedules and the number of practices prior to school closure.  Coaches will also assess the readiness of our student-athletes to compete, once we return to practice.  

While we wait for practices and school to resume, I encourage all of our student-athletes to use this time wisely:

Academics

        I am asking all parents to take an active role in helping us make sure that our student-athletes are still learning in our current educational setting.  During this two week closure, teachers and counselors are still available via email but will not be assigning additional work. This is a great time for student-athletes to contact their teachers and get caught up on any current, late, or missing assignments in order to stay on track for graduation and ensure academic eligibility in the Fall. Please keep in mind that MSHSAA By-Law 2.3.2 requires student-athletes to pass a minimum of 6 classes the previous semester to be considered eligible in the current semester.

Individual Workouts

Many of our Spring sport coaches have given our student-athletes individual workouts which can be done at home.  The purpose of these workouts are to keep our student-athletes active and to help make sure they are prepared when practices resume.  Please keep in mind that these workouts cannot be done on school property.  Also, student-athletes should follow social distancing guidelines while completing these workouts. We do not want large groups of student-athletes assembling to work out together. Lastly, these individual workouts do not count toward the mandatory 14 days of practice, prior to competition.

Club Sport Participation During the Closure

        As of this moment, our Spring sport seasons have been suspended, not cancelled.  Thus, MSHSAA By-Law 3.13.2 forbids participation in non-school sponsored sports in the same sport in which the student-athlete is currently a member of through their school. As an example, a JHS baseball player would lose their eligibility to compete on our team, if they chose to practice or compete with a non-school sponsored team during our Spring season.  By-Law 3.13.2 does allow individual sports participants (Golf, Tennis, Track) to compete in no more than two non-school sponsored events during the school Spring sport season.  If you have specific questions about what a student-athlete can or cannot participate in, please contact me or the appropriate head coach.

Helpful Links

At this time, the athletic department will not be keeping regular office hours.  If you have questions or need information, please feel free to email me at matthewhiatt@joplinschools.org or Middle School Athletic Director Kyle Wolf at kylewolf@joplinschools.org.

In closing, once again, I hope all of our Eagle students and families are safe and healthy. We all look forward to the day where we can get back to normal and spend time with our athletic family once again.  This situation is very fluid. We will provide updates as more information is available. We appreciate your support and flexibility during these unprecedented and unpredictable times.

 

Sincerely,

Matt Hiatt

Athletic Director

Joplin Schools

Phone: (417) 625-5242

Email: matthewhiatt@joplinschools.org