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story.lead_photo.caption Graham Thomas/Herald-Leader Siloam Springs senior Franklin Cortez looks to make a play last Thursday against Decatur at Panther Stadium. Due to the coronavirus, the Arkansas Activities Association canceled all games from March 15-30 and have implemented a dead period, which began on Tuesday, March 17. The AAA will re-evaluate the situation on March 30.

The Siloam Springs School District, along with all school districts in the state, will not have any activities relating to athletics over growing concern of the coronavirus, the Arkansas Activities Association announced on Monday morning.

The AAA announced it would have a "dead period" for all member schools, beginning on Tuesday, March 17.

On March 30, the AAA will reassess the covid-19 situation and announce further plans, the release states.

"During this time, coaches (licensed teacher coaches and registered volunteers) shall be prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving student athletes, whether it be practice, training, weight lifting, tryouts, competition or travel," the release states.

Siloam Springs athletics director Ken Harriman said that since school was still be in session Monday, March 16, coaches were able to meet with athletes and use the time as an organizational and information-sharing time.

"The only thing we can do is encourage them (our athletes) to stay in shape, work on individual skill and take care of themselves and be ready for the bell," Harriman said. "We will eventually come out of this.

"I'm sure we will have kids to find a way to lift (weights) and try and stay in shape and so forth, but as far as school is concerned we can't sanction any of that right now."

Last week, the AAA announced it had canceled all athletic events between March 15-30, but Monday's dead period announcement took it a step further.

It's similar to the annual dead period in the summer that usually takes place at the end of June through the first of July.

"We are following the mindset that we take the next two weeks," Harriman said. "I think the AAA will look at the numbers at that point and then try to prepare to make some sort of determination of continuing season or how much longer we continue the season."

On Monday afternoon, Harriman and the Siloam Springs athletics department released the following letter to the community regarding covid-19.

Panther Family,

As you are aware, Governor Hutchinson announced yesterday that due to the COVID-19 virus, all Arkansas schools will be closed beginning tomorrow, March 17th and extending through the end of Spring Break. As of now, classes will resume on Monday, March 30th.

The Arkansas Activities Association has also suspended all competition from March 15th to March 30th. What this means for us is that we will follow the same policy that we do during the Athletic Dead Period in the summer. During this time, coaches (licensed teacher coaches and registered volunteers) shall be prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving student athletes whether it be practice, training, weight lifting, competition, or travel. Further, all school athletic facilities will be closed to all student-athletes during this period. This includes the city baseball and softball fields for SSSD athletes.

Even though there will not be access to district athletic facilities, we encourage our athletes and parents to look at this as opportunity to spend time together as a family and even engage in personal fitness workouts at home.

Our Athletic Department and staff will continue to be available for any questions or concerns that you might have. Please feel free to contact us by email or phone if there is any way that we can continue to support our students and their families during this unprecedented time.

We appreciate our school leadership and the decisions that they continue to make in the best interest of our students, staff, district, and community. This is an incredibly fluid situation and we will continue to monitor and update as information becomes available. Please follow our social media pages for the most up to date information.

Sincerely,

Ken Harriman

Athletic Director

Sports on 03/18/2020

Print Headline: AAA imposes dead period for athletics

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