RIIL cancels 2020 spring sports season

High School

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — After Gov. Gina Raimondo announced students will continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) has canceled the 2020 spring sports season.

The league previously said it would only hold the spring season if students were able to return to school, noted Cranston High School East Principal Sean Kelly, who’s also the chairman of the Principals’ Committee on Athletics.

“This is obviously devastating for everyone,” he said. “It is devastating to all the student-athletes, especially the seniors who have been waiting for their final high school season. It is devastating to all the schools. It is devastating to all of our communities. It is devastating to everyone. We do not take this decision lightly. It’s awful. There’s no other way to put it.”

RIIL Executive Director Thomas Mezzanotte said while the league has established protocols and emergency action plans for many types of situations, “we simply have no playbook to follow for this unique global health crisis.”

“Just as we made every effort to complete the winter tournament season, we remained hopeful that at least some form of a spring sports season would be possible and spent the past several weeks exploring many scenarios in the event that it could be saved,” Mezzanotte said. “We had the best of intentions but unfortunately, we’re at the mercy of this deadly virus.”

“To our senior student-athletes, we thank you for the positive contributions you made to your teams, schools and communities. While this worldwide event has caused you to grow up faster than planned, you all have very bright futures ahead,” he continued. “We hope the lessons learned while participating in education-based athletics, along with the friendships and memories made, will make a lasting impression.”

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