(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is moving forward with a definitive plan for high school sports in the 2020-21 school year.
The regularly scheduled Board of Control meeting culminated in a finalized sports calendar, maintaining the agreed-upon fall start dates and detailing the option for schools to move fall activities to the spring.
Low-risk fall sports (cross country, girls golf, girls swimming, and girls tennis) can start practice August 17, with high-risk sports (football, volleyball, and boys soccer) starting practice September 7.
For the FRCC, including mainly teams in the Green Bay area, low-risk sports can start practice September 1.
The FVA, which includes the Fox Valley’s largest schools, will stick with the original dates set by the WIAA.
The WIAA will allow teams to hold practices and competitions even if schools begin the year in a fully virtual learning environment.
Included in Friday’s deliberations were discussions about spring options for schools that choose to delay their fall sports seasons. (So far, no schools in the Green Bay-Appleton area have opted to postpone fall sports seasons.)
Football teams that opt for a spring season will play a seven-game schedule with no “culminating event” – i.e.; sectional or state championship competition.
The spring football schedule would begin its first practice dates the week of March 8.
All fall sports can play up to 50 percent of their schedule and still be eligible for spring competition, but the deadline to postpone the fall season without extenuating circumstances (for which many schools apply due to the pandemic) is September 1.
Teams playing football in the fall can play up to seven regular season games, not including exhibitions, beginning the weekend of September 24.
Each sport’s culminating event will be scheduled out one month prior to the end of the season.
For winter and spring sports, all schools will now be subject to a condensed schedule; however, the WIAA did not reduce the maximum number of games each team can play.
No winter sport will begin before the week of November 16, with wrestling and basketball set to start up one week later.
Girls state basketball will take place the week of February 22, with boys state basketball following up the week of March 1.
Spring sports will see an even more condensed schedule, but with the same number of allowable games, just like winter sports.
No spring sports will start practice before the first week of April, with boys tennis beginning practice the week of April 19.
Baseball and softball will each have six-week regular season schedules, with the state tournaments set to conclude the week of June 14 – the same final week as a normal year.
The WIAA and Wisconsin DHS will release guidelines for competition and quarantines in the coming weeks.
While the WIAA’s decisions direct the logistics of high school athletics, teams are ultimately under the direction of local government and health officials.
But the WIAA’s road map, at the very least, lays out a plan for a smooth ride for the next 10 months.