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COVID-19 concerns to alter fall state tournament plans in Madison

The uncertainty of conducting culminating events and tournaments, and given the challenging situation with COVID- 19 restrictions in Dane County, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and the University of Wisconsin- Madison announced on Sept. 10 that WIAA tournaments will not be conducted at UW facilities this fall.

The WIAA has acknowledged all tournament schedules and venues are subject to change if conditions warrant in accordance with local, state and national health guidelines.

The events impacted include the state girls golf championship at University Ridge Oct. 12-13, the state girls individual and team tennis tournaments at Nielsen Tennis Stadium Oct. 15-17 and Oct. 23-24, respectively, and the state girls swimming and diving championships Nov. 13-14, formerly held at the UW Natatorium with plans to move to the Nicholas Recreation Center when completed. The executive staff is in the process of identifying prospective alternate locations and venues for these state events.

If held, the state girls golf championship has already found a new home at Meadow Valley Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, pending Board of Control approval.

In July, the Board of Control’s approval of a reduced, 11-week fall football ruled out conducting the 2020 state football finals, which had been held at Camp Randall Stadium since 1982.

“Since July, we’ve been talking with the Board of Control, our members and UW Athletic Department personnel, and we understand our need to take a new and different approach to this year’s events,” WIAA executive director Dave Anderson said. “Through our great relationship with the UW, we share the hope and look forward to more normal times.”

John Horn, chief of staff to the vice chancellor for Finance and Administration at UW, expressed similar sentiments.

“We regret, given the situation here in Dane County related to COVID-19, it will not be feasible to host the WIAA state tournaments this fall,” Horn said. “We look forward to when the conditions of the pandemic improves and Dane County and campus policies change to allow larger, non-essential events. The WIAA events benefit not just our campus and greater Madison, but the entire state. Most importantly, they are once-in-a-lifetime experiences for student-athletes and their families.”

The WIAA will announce the locations and sites of culminating events and tournaments when determined and approved by the Board of Control, provided the tournament series is conducted as scheduled.