SHREVEPORT, La. (KMSS/KTAL) – In 2020, COVID-19 related issues kept teams from being able to meet minimum player requirements that kept games from being played. On the other side, there was some belief among coaches that teams were fabricating COVID-19 issues to avoid playing unfavorable match-ups.
In 2021, COVID-19 issues may keep teams from participating, but instead of a no contest, it will now result in forfeiture. The LHSAA’s Fall Memorandum released Tuesday highlighted the fact that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) haven’t made any state-issued requirements in regards to COVID-19 precautions, leaving individual school districts with the power to make their own guidelines as they see fit. In the memorandum, the LHSAA states it clearly:
“NOW HAVING PREVENTIVE MEASURES THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO AVOID ISSUES WITH THE VIRUS, ANY/ALL REASONS THAT MAY OCCUR AS IT RELATES TO COVID THAT PREVENTS YOUR SCHOOL NOT TO FULFILL A REGULAR AND/OR POSTSEASON GAME, CONTEST, MATCH OR MEET WILL RESULT IN A FORFEITURE.from the LHSAA’s Fall Sports Memorandum
The memorandum even addresses the rumblings that teams were manipulating the system in 2020, stating:
BUT, PLEASE KNOW, UNLIKE LAST YEAR, WE WILL NOT REFEREE THE ALLEGED MANIPULATION OF COVID ISSUE RELIEF TO FACILITATE AVOIDANCE OF OPPONENTS FOR SPORT SPECIFIC POWER RATING REASONS.from the LHSAA’s Fall Sports Memorandum
The Louisiana high-school football season kicks off its regular season on Thursday, September 2.