Public Safety and Health Concerns Cancel 3A/4A State Basketball [VIDEO]
The Wyoming High School Class 3A and 4A State Basketball Tournaments have been canceled for the safety of the public.
After an earlier announcement of just playing games with no spectators or media, the whole tournament is now off.
The decision to cancel came from the Natrona County Department of Health.
At a press conference, Casper Events Center General Manager Brad Murphy opened with an announcement of the cancelation. He turned it over to the Executive Director of the Casper Natrona County Health Department Anna Kinder to explain more about the decision.
WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird said he would be getting the WHSAA Board of Directors together today (Thursday).
"We will go ahead and look at what options we have. Just offhand, I think it's going to be tough (to reschedule) cause I don't know how long this quarantine period will be from the state, and we're already into track and soccer. Facility-wise, if we do do it, it would probably be splitting the tournaments up to try and make it happen. We're just going to have to look at all options right now."
Laird added, "It changed pretty quickly from when we called at 8 (this morning), that we were good to go. Then at 9, we got a call that said we weren't good to go and we were going to limit fans. Then, right after that, we got the call saying it's canceled."
He went on to say that we agree the safety is the No. 1 concern.
Laird admitted they had questions about why they still held the State Spirit Competition.
"At that time, it was all go and that's why we did it. Obviously, we hope nothing happened there."
He knows they'll have to make more decisions moving forward.
"It doesn't surprise me that we're going what we're doing based on the reaction that happened yesterday, nationwide. The trickle-down effect seems to happen."
He wanted more lead time to contact schools and fans, but that didn't happen, and they can only control what they can control.
Laird stated they let the Natrona County Department of Health make the final call.
"We felt like they're the experts. We had to listen to them. We didn't know if it would come from the Governor, the health department or whatever, each state's been doing it a little bit different as those statements come out."
He feels more for the kids involved.
"In the big picture, we're all passionate, and no one feels worse about this than me. I know what it means to kids and have had an opportunity to coach in these tournaments and what it means to the communities. But, in the big picture, it is a basketball game, it's a high school game that we've got to take the safety of everyone in concern when that happens."
According to wyoming-basketball.com, the state tournament was also canceled in 1936.
Two girls' games were played before the final decision came down. In Class 3A, Lyman defeated Newcastle 46-34. In 4A girls' action, Cheyenne Central beat Green River 62-37.