Governor Asa Hutchinson announced during a press conference on Friday, July 31 that he plans to resume high school sports, no contact sports, and sports-related extracurricular activities this fall. High school football teams will be allowed to begin no contact drills, with helmets, next week. Volleyball teams and cheerleaders will also be allowed to begin practicing.
“We need school this fall. And part of school is the sports and extracurricular activities,” Hutchinson said.
He requested that the Arkansas Athletic Association (AAA) submit a schedule for resuming sports in the fall. Hutchinson also announced the creation of a high school sports advisory group to make recommendations and to “assist the department of health in the best practices for protecting the student athletes and school personnel, and lead us to be able to have a regular sports season this fall.”
The governor explained that many people have written to him, and explained that sports are a pivotal part of the scholastic experience. “Sports are a very important part for the development of our youth. If we do not have sports, then many of the student athletes will be traveling out of state to participate in sports which adds to another level of risk, and increases the risk,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson also acknowledged that school is around the corner, and that the state will need to continue to work on safety precautions.
“We have over three weeks before school starts…and we’re going to learn over the next three weeks what adjustments need to be made, and we will improve our safety protocols.”