The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) has made the decision to delay the start of fall sports based on the level of contact and level of risk due to COVID-19.
Girls golf, cross country, girls tennis, and girls swimming and diving teams can begin practice on August 17. Football, boys soccer, and volleyball can begin the week September 7. During a virtually held three-hour meeting, the measure passed on an 8-3 vote.
The Board failed to pass an amendment that would allow higher-risk sports to begin August 24 on a 9-2 vote.
“Let’s provide as many opportunities for this membership to serve their kids,” said WIAA executive director Dave Anderson.
Last spring, the WIAA canceled the boys and girls state basketball tournaments in March due to the pandemic and later canceled the spring sports season.
Various options have been brought up in terms of handling games of fall sports including allowing teams to play/not play based on their county’s COVID-19 “Risk Level”, which is announced each Wednesday by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and delaying fall sports to spring.
It is unclear what offering fall sports in the spring would look like, with questions arising about athletes being forced to leave their winter sports early to join their fall sport and conflicts with spring sports like baseball and softball (which would possibly be held later in the spring/early summer) as well as club seasons.
The future of post-season state championship tournaments also remains unclear.
The delayed fall season is not expected to interfere with the start of the winter high school sports season.