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Fall sports given the nod

In a recent meeting, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control, considered a number of season schedule models and resolved to maintain fall interscholastic opportunities with a delayed start. In addition, an alternate opportunity for schools unable to start and administer the traditional fall season, was also agreed upon at a virtual special meeting.

During the meeting, in an 8-3 decision, the board approved conducting the fall sports season with a delayed start. The sports of girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving, and boys and girls cross country, will be permitted to begin practice with prescribed acclimatization protocol, Monday, Aug. 17.

The earliest practice date for the sports of football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball, is Monday, Sept. 7.

“Because of the board’s action, while they can’t make any guarantees that things will work out as we plan them, they have given us the opportunity to at least hope and work in that direction,” said WIAA executive director Dave Anderson. “We understand this decision will make some happy and others disappointed, but we will do our best to deliver to our membership what they have directed us to do.”

The earliest dates for the first competitions are Aug. 20 for girls golf; Aug. 21 for girls tennis; Aug. 25 for cross country, and girls swimming and diving. The earliest permissible date for the first boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball contests, are Sept. 15; and the first possible football game may be scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 23, if the first practice is conducted Sept. 7.

The end of the fall sports seasons remained unchanged, but the board indicated the season may, or may not, culminate with a traditional tournament series. The length and beginning of the tournament series will be determined in the coming days.

In addition, the winter and spring season calendars were not altered.

Another component of the board’s decision provides schools, which are unable to start fall sports in 2020, an opportunity in the spring to conduct their fall seasons. The board directed the executive staff to develop details and calendars for an alternative three-sport season in the second semester of the 2020-21 school year, to be presented at a later date.