POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Simplot Games announced Friday that the 2021 indoor high school track and field event, originally scheduled February 17-19, has been canceled due to uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While this was a difficult decision, it was necessary to cancel the Games with the uncertainty caused by COVID-19,” said Kevin Browning, chairman of the Simplot Games Board of Directors. “In fairness to everyone involved from Idaho State University and the school districts who send athletes, to the community members and hotels that help us host the event, we cannot continue to plan knowing that the pandemic and its effects will likely be with us in February.”
Idaho State University and Simplot Games officials said they considered alternative dates, including a spring, outdoor event at Davis Field, but they said there was too much uncertainty and chose instead to halt planning the 43rd games.
“The Simplot Games are often referred to as one of the best run athletic events in the country,” Browning said. “That’s due in large part to the careful planning and arrangements made by hundreds of volunteers that start several months before the event. That intricate planning would be too difficult this year, and the health and safety of the athletes and our communities is too important to move forward.”
With this decision, Simplot Games board of directors turn their attention to Holt Arena and February 2022 for the Games' 43rd year.
“The Simplot Games are a signature event for Pocatello, our community, and the hundreds of student athletes who look forward to this competition each year,” Kyle McGowan, vice president of University Advancement at ISU, said. “We look forward to next year as an opportunity to partner with Simplot to make the games better than ever before.”