|4/24/2020 11:59:00 AM|
No tournaments but there can be a "spring season"...kind of
In a two hour meeting Tuesday the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted to cancel 2020 spring sports regular-season competitions and the Tournament Series while allowing individual, virtual spring sports coaching to continue until the final day of the 2020 season, which is the final day of the State Tournament for the respective sports.
The cancellation of spring competitions and State Tournaments is in support of Gov. Tony Evers' ongoing efforts to prevent, suppress and control the spread of the COVID-19 disease. On April 16, the state's Safer-at-Home order was extended until May 26, 2020 with all public and private K-12 schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year (June 30), which also prohibits all school extracurricular and athletic activities.
But there is still an opportunity for a delayed spring season if schools choose to go that route.
In conjunction with the decision, the Board voted to extend the unrestricted summertime coaching contact opportunities for spring sports only. This action will permit school teams that include the current year's seniors to assemble and conduct practices and competitions for up to 30 days, provided restrictions on assembling in groups are removed, until the start of a student-athlete's fall sport season.
All sports' acclimatization regulations remain unchanged prior to the first competition. In addition, a day of rest after six consecutive contact days remains unchanged. Furthermore, if schools engage in competitions, the required number of WIAA licensed officials also remains unchanged.
All spring sports competitions scheduled during the expansion of unrestricted summertime provisions will require approval from district administrators of all competing schools. In addition, spring sports teams assembling without the current year's seniors participating shall be limited to five days of unrestricted summertime contact, which is the same as fall and winter sports.
"We want to extend our sincere empathy and regrets to all the student-athletes and coaches that have worked hard in anticipation of participating in sports this spring, particularly the seniors," Executive Director Dave Anderson said. "The Board of Control and Executive Staff have been resolute in their hopes to preserve some chance to play one more time, and it is our hope that by providing the extended unrestricted days, we can provide some opportunities and closure for spring sport student-athletes."
"We thank Gov. Evers and all the leading health officials and health care workers for their leadership and guidance during this unprecedented period in our history," said Anderson. "We share in the responsibility to assist in the efforts to control the spread of this virus. When the time is right, we will play again."
The cancellation of all extracurricular activities prohibits all school or coach involvement with training, practices, scrimmages and contests until, at the earliest July 1, unless restrictions are removed prior to that time. Therefore, coaches may not bring students together or encourage students to assemble for extracurricular purposes, which includes competitions, practices and all instructional and training until the restrictions on assembling in groups are removed.
All coaches are encouraged to continue to connect with their student-athletes with virtual organizational team meetings and team building exercises by video or messaging as approved by school administration to provide support for athletes. Coaches can provide general information to their athletes virtually, who may voluntarily review the suggestions. However, coaches are prohibited from mandating or instructing athletes out of season during this period.
Spring sports coaches may continue to provide individual virtual instruction for student-athletes with training, conditioning and skill development until the end of the respective spring sports season, which is the final day of the scheduled 2020 State Tournament for the respective sport.
Fall and winter sports coaches' contact may begin July 1-provided restrictions on assembling in groups are removed-and will follow the existing prescribed summertime dates and unrestricted contact regulations with a maximum of five days of contact.In other Board action, it approved the new and renewal cooperative team arrangements for 2020-21 and 2021-22, the appointments to the officials advisory committee for 2020-21, and to discontinue the printing of the Bulletin. The publication will be published and available exclusively online beginning with the May, 2020 issue.
The Executive Staff reported to the Board the cancellation of the annual Scholar-Athlete Ceremony scheduled for May 3 in accordance with the state's efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Recipients of the Scholar-Athlete Award will receive all other recognition associated with the award, including the airing of a special awards program on FS Wisconsin and individual recognition on the WIAA website. Other information shared with the Board included the cancellation of NFHS Summer Meeting and the plan to waive the late fees for officials licensing this year.
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