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Spring Fling on track, but flu could push play into mid-June


Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is taking a “no team left behind” approach should a high school and its spring athletic teams be shut down in post-season play due to H1N1 virus, or “swine flu.”

Ronnie Carter, TSSAA executive director, said if any school in post-season play is unable to compete on schedule, that region or sub-state action would be put on hold until the school is ready.

“We’re not going to say, ‘tough, you all will just have to forfeit your games’ or ‘you’ll just have to miss the track meet,’” Carter said.

As for delay contingencies with Spring Fling, TSSAA’s state championship showdowns in baseball, boys soccer, softball, track and field and tennis, “One of the things we’ve asked the people in Murfreesboro to do is look as far ahead as the second week of June,” Carter said. “We don’t anticipate that.”


Using one example, Carter said, “We might play everything during [normal] Spring Fling [dates], but [Class]AAA baseball may be delayed a week, week-and-a-half. You break it down to sports, and you break it down then into classifications.”

He said track and field and tennis are most difficult to plan contingencies for because “you’ve got a lot of schools with a lot of athletes, or some with two of three.

“People would probably have a hard time understanding if we held the track meet up, or a regional track meet up, just because we had one school [quarantined]. But we’re going to try and be fair to everybody.”

The closing of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville late last week is the only TSSAA school so far affected, Carter said, adding MBA sports cancellations involved regular season games that weren’t required to be made up.

The school was set to reopen today, Thursday, May 7, and resume all sports competitions, Carter added.

Carter said he “feels pretty comfortable” there are no big events planned in Murfreesboro for late May into mid-June, allowing flexibility with possible hotel accommodation shifts.

The TSSAA’s top man conceded that, in case of event delays, accommodation problems could cause a shift in sports locations outside Murfreesboro for one or more of the five events.

 

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