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State high schools declare for traditional fall or alternate fall season

The 513 schools in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association declared by the Sept. 1 deadline for either the traditional fall season or the alternate fall season to be held in the spring of 2021.

In July, the WIAA’s Board of Control voted to maintain fall interscholastic opportunities with a delayed start in all fall sports except cross country, as well as an alternate opportunity for schools unable to start and administer the traditional fall season. The sports of girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving and boys and girls cross country were permitted to begin practice with prescribed acclimatization protocol Monday, Aug. 17. The earliest practice date for the traditional fall sports of football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball was Monday, Sept. 7.

At this time, a majority of schools have opted to conduct their fall sports in the traditional season, including all three schools in Taylor County –– Medford, Rib Lake and Gilman. The WIAA’s executive staff is using the data to create innovated post-season opportunities for a tournament format or a culminating event. Here is the breakdown of the percentages and the number of schools that have declared for either the fall season or the alternate fall season next spring.

Boys cross country: 82% (348 fall), 18% (76 alternate fall) Girls cross country: 82% (346 fall), 18% (75 alternate fall) 11-player football: 68% (256 fall), 32% (121 alternate fall) 8-player football: 81% (38 fall), 19% (9 alternate fall) Girls golf: 74% (129 fall), 26% (46 alternate fall) Boys soccer: 64% (181 fall), 36% (101 alternate fall) Girls swimming and diving: 63% (88 fall), 37% (51 alternate fall) Girls tennis: 73% (150 fall), 27% (55 alternate fall) Boys volleyball: 63% (38 fall), 37% (22 alternate fall) Girls volleyball: 74% (353 fall), 26% (121 alternate fall) Lists of schools participating in each season can be found at https://schools.

The revised sports calendar approved by the board at its Aug. 14 meeting replaces the existing 2020-21 season calendars and created an alternate fall season in the spring with seven weeks of competition for schools unable to start or complete 50% of the traditional fall season. The executive staff acknowledges declarations and schedules are subject to change if conditions warrant in accordance with local, state and national health guidelines.

The executive staff sent an email to all schools that interprets the intention of the alternate season opportunity in providing member schools with a choice to conduct a traditional fall season or an alternate fall season in the spring. Schools will not be provided an alternate spring season if programs use the fall as a contact period or to intentionally schedule less than 50% of the prescribed games in order to circumvent out-of-season contact rules and use the fall as an opportunity to practice.

Schools that offer fall sport seasons with bona fide competition schedules and meet the intention of the WIAA Board of Control’s 50% opportunity may be able to switch to the alternate season, if needed.

The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 513 senior high schools and 49 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. For more information, contact the WIAA office at 715-344-8580.