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September 25, 2020

8/21/2020 10:55:00 AM
Schools nearing decision on fall or alternate sports season

Athletic Directors in this area would like to see their athletes in competition this fall and last week the WIAA said that could happen.
While the overall desire is to put teams on the field, on the courses and in the gyms, it is not as easy as it sounds, mostly thanks to a new enrollment based football alignment that breaks from the traditional conferences where schools are members.
Here is a scenario for schools in our coverage area:
The Dodgers are a member of the Southwest Conference (SWC) which includes Platteville, Lancaster, Prairie du Chien, River Valley and Richland Center. But in football the alignment is Dodgeville, Platteville, River Valley, Richland Center, Prairie du Chien, Brodhead/Juda and New Glarus/Monticello. Tuesday NG/M announced it was moving fall sports to spring and Brodhead/Juda is looking at that avenue too as they play in different conferences for all but football.
Last week the SWC took a vote among ADs on what they would ask their administrators and school boards to support and fall was favored on a 4-2 vote. However, that does not mean the two who voted against would stay with fall competition.
Dodgeville AD Joey Martin said he will be asking the Dodgeville School Board to support moving forward with fall sports at their August 20 meeting at 5 p.m.
Dodgeville also has a unique situation where they co-op with Mineral Point in the fall in both Cross Country and Boys Soccer. While Mineral Point has not made a decision, Martin said the girls and boys in the XC co-op reported for practice Monday, August 17 which opened the season.
Mineral Point Athletic Director Vicki Dahl said a final decision has not been reached for moving forward with fall sports. She adds she expects the school board to meet sometime this week and provide direction.
For football the Pointers, two time defending conference champions, are in the "SWAL" which for football is composed of Mineral Point, Cuba City, Darlington Fennimore, Lancaster, Belleville and Parkview/Albany. Lancaster, a SWC member for all other sports, is in favor of fall competition while Belleville is in Dane County and cannot host games and would have a numbers requirement for practice participation.
Parkview/Albany is still undecided.
As noted earlier, the Pointer boys and girls wanting to take part in Cross Country are practicing.
There was no reply from Iowa-Grant's athletic department but they are also in a holding pattern while they wait direction from the school board.
For football the Panthers are in the Six Rivers with opponents Benton/Shullsburg/Scales Mounds, Potosi/Cassville, Pecatonica/Argyle, River Ridge, Southwestern and Black Hawk/Warren, IL. Currently the COVID-19 rule does not allow schools from Illinois to send players across state lines to participate which causes a numbers problem for B/S/SM and BH/W. It has been stated that Black Hawk will not have the numbers without Warren, IL and is leaning toward a spring season.
The Panthers are in the "regular" SWAL for other sports which in the fall includes volleyball and cross country.
River Valley is one of the four schools wanting to move forward with fall sports and competes in the same SWC alignments as Dodgeville.
Highland AD Lynn Michek says the Cardinals are currently a "go" for fall and are waiting on final word from superintendents in both conferences which are the Ridge and Valley for football and Six Rivers West for everything else.
Football opponents include Ithaca, DeSoto, Riverdale, Hillsboro, Wauzeka/Steuben and Boscobel. The Cardinals played most of these opponents last season. All other sports play in the Six Rivers West hat is made up of Belmont, Shullsburg, River Ridge, Potosi, Highland, Cassville and Benton.
Pecatonica combines with Argyle for football and was scheduled to play in the "Six Rivers" football conference this season. Members of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association proposed league include Iowa-Grant, River Ridge, Southwestern, Benton/Shullsburg/Scales Mounds, IL, Black Hawk/Warren, IL, Pec/Argyle and Potosi/Cassville.
In "regular" Six Rivers, the Vikings are in the East division which includes Black Hawk, Barneveld, Monticello, Juda, Albany, Argyle and Pecatonica.
For fall sports, the "regular" Six Rivers is in favor of moving forward.
Co-oping with Mount Horeb for football may force choices this season in football as the co-op is in the Badger Conference and operates out of Dane County which almost guarantees a move to spring for football.
The "regular" Six Rivers East for other sports includes Black Hawk, Barneveld, Monticello, Juda, Albany, Argyle and Pecatonica.
As stated earlier, the Six Rivers is in favor of moving forward in the fall.
Last Friday the WIAA maintained its stance that moving forward with fall sports is up to individual schools and for those not wanting the fall experience, they are allowing a spring option. They are also reducing the number of weeks for all sports for the 2020-21 winter and spring seasons.
Schools are required to notify the WIAA by September 1 of their plan to participate in the traditional fall season or the spring.
Of course the entire ability to provide sports for any season is dependant on the COVID-19 Pandemic. The WIAA acknowledges all schedules are subject to change in accordance with local, state and national health guidelines.
Following is what the WIAA released Friday.
The revised sports calendar replaces the existing 2020-21 season calendars and identifies - in addition to an alternate fall season in the spring with seven weeks of competition - a period of no coaching contact prior to the start of the respective sport seasons; an acclimatization or practice period before the first allowed competition; and the designated number of weeks for the winter and spring seasons, including any culminating event.
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 revised calendar emphasizes the Board's position to accommodate all the sport seasons in 2020-21 with the knowledge a number of member schools having already determined interscholastic activities are not able to be conducted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the release says.
Athletic Directors, especially in smaller schools, see a problem with the boys sports if fall and spring are both held in the spring. There is considerable overlap in the boys side of the sports seasons which will create

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