Sports, Wednesday, May 27th

Written by Nathan Bloechl on May 27, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com 

IHSAA, IGHSAU Announce Guidelines for Return to Play:

The Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union have announced their guidelines and template for summer sports to start by June 1st (practice) and June 15th (first games).

We’ll cover the high points here:

First and foremost, while the state and both athletic governing bodies have given the green light to play, it is up to each individual school district whether to play or not.

No area schools — but some statewide have already decided the risks are too much to play this summer.

For districts who decide to opt out, they must have written correspondence to the Association or Girls’ Union by June 8th.

With the biggest kicker being the health of players, coaches and umpires, the release indicates that ALL players and coaches must have their temperatures taken prior to arriving at the ballpark.

This means tests must be administered at home.

If a player or coach has temperature of 100.3 or more, they will be forced to stay home.

The same guidelines are in place for fans — per guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health, spectators should have their temperature checked at home before attending practices or games. If a spectator has a temperature of 100.3 or above, he or she should not attend games.

In a continued effort to maximize social distancing, no dugouts will be used during practice. Players’ items should be lined up against a fence at least six feet apart.

While fans will be allowed to attend games, the Association and Girls’ Union are encouraging them to continue social distancing by bringing their own chairs and respecting distance between other spectators. There will also be NO concession stands open during this summer.

Furthermore, masks are not required to be worn by players, umpires, coaches or spectators. If an individual would like to wear a mask on the playing field, in the dugout, or in the stand, he/she may do so. It is recommended that if worn, players and coaches where a mask that is a solid color. There is no prohibition on the color of the mask.

It is optional for spectators, workers, and others to wear masks, but they are expected to follow social distancing guidelines.

Iowa’s Cassioppi Named to Rookie First-Team:

Iowa freshman wrestler Tony Cassioppi has been named to the 2020 Amateur Wrestling News All-Rookie Team.

This season Cassioppi was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree at 285 pounds after finishing 20-3 and clinching a #3 seed at the NCAA Championships.

His terrific freshman season also included defeating three top-20 ranked wrestlers at the prestigious Midlands wrestling tournament.

A two-time Illinois state champ, Cassioppi will be a sophomore next season.

Pollard Pens Letter, Says Football Could See 50% Fans in Stands:

Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard penned a letter to Cyclone Nation yesterday where he said he fully believes football will be played in some capacity this fall.

Pollard detailed that attendance at Jack Trice Stadium would be limited to approximately 50% capacity in order to meet the current guidelines established by state and local officials.

Those guidelines may be adjusted as time passes, but as of now Cyclone officials are preparing for Jack Trice to be limited to about 30,000 spectators.

Pollard notes 22,000 season tickets have been renewed for the fall, and any fan who does not renew their season tickets and make their Cyclone Club donation by June 12, 2020 will not be provided the opportunity to attend any games this fall until it is later decided that we can safely exceed the 50% capacity restriction.

Pollard also admitted that Cyclone officials do not anticipate selling single-game tickets this year.

National Hockey League Inching Closer to Return:

The NHL has announced its Return to Play Plan with 24 teams in competition for the Stanley Cup, the league said on Tuesday..

The tournament will begin with a 16-team, eight-series Qualifying Round and a Seeding Round Robin tournament among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeds for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL put its regular season on pause on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and its remaining 189 games will not be completed.

The 12 qualifying teams from the Eastern and Western conferences were determined by points percentage as of that date.

Seven teams did not qualify.

The Qualifying Round and Seeding Round Robin will be held at two hub cities to be identified — one for the 12 participating Eastern Conference teams and one for the 12 Western Conference teams – and begin at a date to be determined.

Candidates for the hub cities include Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.