SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan School District is moving ahead with plans to conduct district-level competitions for its high school spring sports athletes whose seasons were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Jordan Cup” competitions would likely be conducted in late June, after the end of the school year. Students would have to undergo 10 days of conditioning prior to taking part in the athletic competitions.
The district school board will need to give its OK to conduct the games, said district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf on Wednesday.
The district’s six high schools will be surveyed to determine their level of interest and whether they will be able field enough athletes to take part in tournaments or contests, Riesgraf said.
“It’s something some of our student athletes have asked for. In a year where students have missed out on so much, this might provide something, a healthy end to the school year for them to be in healthy competition and maybe bring them some closure that they were looking for,” Riesgraf said.
The school district envisions competitions in baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, boys soccer, softball, boy tennis, and track and field, she said.
Since the events would be conducted outside of the school year, they would not be sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association.
In a year where students have missed out on so much, this might provide something, a healthy end to the school year for them to be in healthy competition and maybe bring them some closure that they were looking for.
–Sandy Riesgraf, Jordan School District spokeswoman
The association called off high school spring sports in mid-April after Gov. Gary Herbert and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson announced that Utah public schools would be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year.
Students petitioned the association to resume competition. The UHSAA’s board of trustees considered the request but declined to reinstate play.
Riesgraf said parents and student athletes approached the school district asking for some alternatives. It has yet to be determined if spectators could attend the events, she said.
The school district will work in coordination with the Salt Lake County Health Department to ensure the games can be conducted in keeping with public health advisories in place at the time.
“Parents and student athletes have to ask if there’s any chance we could do this and do it safely. That’s what the (school) board asked us to look into. We just have to see if we have enough interest because kids tend to scatter after graduation,” Riesgraf said.