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WIAA opens door to playing fall sports in the spring

The WIAA's "alternative fall" schedule would give fall sports an opportunity to compete from March to May in the spring
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 11:06 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 9:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The WIAA has signed off on another way for high schools and their conferences to cancel their fall seasons, yet still give student-athletes a chance to play later in the year.

On Friday, board members unanimously approved the so-called “alternate fall option.” The plan would let schools that nix fall sports now play early next year instead.

The updated 2020-2021 high school sports schedule for each season is as follow:

2020-21 Fall Sports Season Start & End Dates (* End dates to be determined)

Cross Country-Boys & Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 - Week of Oct. 26*)

Football (Monday, Sept. 7 - Week of Nov. 16*) - Earliest first game is Wednesday, Sept. 23

Golf-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 - Week of Oct. 12*)

Soccer-Boys (Monday, Sept. 7 - Week of Nov. 2*)

Swimming & Diving-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 - Week of Nov. 9*)

Tennis-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 - Week of Oct. 19*)

Volleyball - Boys & Girls (Monday, Sept. 7 - Week of Nov. 2*)

2020-21 Winter Sports Season Start & End Dates

Basketball-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of March 1*)

Basketball-Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 22*)

Gymnastics (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 22*)

Hockey- Boys & Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 - Week of Feb. 15*)

Swimming & Diving-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of Feb. 1*)

Wrestling (Monday, Nov. 23 - Week of Feb. 15*)

2020-21 Alternate Fall Sports Season Start & End Dates

Cross Country-Boys & Girls (Monday, March 15 - Week of May 3*)

Football (Monday, March 8 - Week of May 3*) - Earliest first game is Wednesday, March 24

Golf-Girls (Monday, March 29 - Week of May 17*)

Soccer-Boys (Monday, March 22 - Week of May 10*)

Swimming & Diving-Girls (Monday, Feb. 15 - Week of April 5*)

Tennis-Girls (Monday, March 8 - Week of April 26*)

Volleyball - Boys & Girls (Monday, Feb. 22 - Week of April 12*)

2020-21 Spring Sports Season Start & End Dates

Baseball (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)

Golf-Boys (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 14*)

Softball (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)

Soccer-Girls (Monday, April 26 - Week of June 28*)

Tennis-Boys (Monday, May 3 - Week of June 21*)

Track & Field - Boys & Girls (Monday, April 19 - Week of June 28*)

The WIAA asks schools to declare if they take part in the traditional fall season or alternate fall season by September 1.

Alternative fall sports will be given a “culminating event” not to be confused with a state tournament, except for football which will just have seven weeks to compete.

After the Big Ten and Pac-12 called off their fall sports, that had many wondering if high school level activities were going to be scrubbed in the coming months as well.

Dr. Tim McGuine, who has been studying the impact of school closures and sport cancellations at UW-Madison, argued that, while there is some risk, prep athletes are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 than their collegiate counterparts.

“I think it’s very important to look at the differences, if we look at college athletes they are older and have higher BMI all our data says they are more at risk for COVID- 19 than the young people we are dealing with,” he explained.

McGuine also noted that the communal living structure is different for college students, who, he adds, are also more likely to attend large social gatherings.

The WIAA had already mandated schools that plan to play this fall push back their schedules and practices. The earliest practice date for the sports deemed “high-contact,” including football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball, is September 7.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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