WIAA maintains fall sports plan, with spring option provided

Dates for winter, spring seasons adjusted
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

Updated: Aug. 14, 5 p.m.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association unanimously approved a plan to maintain its current fall sports options but provided an option should schools need to move fall sports to the spring. The decision was made during Friday’s WIAA Board of Control meeting.

The plan also adjusted season start and end dates for winter and spring sports.

No decision was made on any state tournaments, with the board saying those determinations would be made about a month before they start.

For the schools that are able and willing to offer fall sports, the start and end dates for the seasons remained the same as what the board approved in July.

Girls golf, girls tennis, girls swim and cross-country practices are allowed starting Monday, Aug. 17, with football, boys soccer and volleyball practices opening Sept. 7.

The football and cross-country seasons will last 11 weeks each, with girls swim going 13 weeks and girls tennis playing 10 weeks. The volleyball, boys soccer and girls golf seasons would all last nine weeks.

“Football programs unable to start or complete 50 percent of the fall season, including games and practices, are eligible for a prorated alternate season,” stated the WIAA’s release from the meeting. “Other fall sports unable to start or complete 50 percent of the fall season, including games and practices, are eligible for a complete alternate season. Fall sports programs exceeding 50 percent of their seasons will be considered a completed season.”

The winter sports of gymnastics, girls basketball and boys and girls hockey would all start practicing the week of Nov. 16. Boys swim, boys basketball and wrestling would start practicing the next week.

Gymnastics and the boys and girls basketball seasons would each run 15 weeks, while boys and girls hockey would go 14 weeks. Wrestling season would last 13 weeks, and boys swim season would be 11 weeks long.

For any of the fall sports that have to be played in the spring: girls swim teams can start practicing the week of Feb. 15, volleyball the week of Feb. 22, football and girls tennis the week of March 8, cross-country the week of March 15, boys soccer the week of March 22 and girls golf the week of March 29.

Football would last nine weeks, while the other sports would all go eight weeks. Spring football will not have any postseason play, while the other sports tentatively have weeks set aside for tournament play.

Spring track and field, baseball, softball and boys golf can all start practicing the week of April 19, while girls soccer would start the week of April 26 and boys tennis the week of May 3.

The track and field, baseball and softball seasons would all last 11 weeks, while girls soccer runs 10 weeks. Boys golf will have a nine-week season, and boys tennis an eight-week season.

All spring sports would be wrapped up by the end of June.

While there isn’t much overlap between the fall and winter sports seasons or the winter and traditional spring sports seasons, there is lots of overlap between the fall sports that move to the spring and the regular spring sports.

Only the girls swim and volleyball seasons would be done when the first spring sports practices are starting up. The spring football and cross-country seasons each last three weeks into the track and field, baseball, softball and boys golf seasons.

The WIAA decided to not push the traditional spring sports further into the summer months to avoid conflicts with club sports and because spring sports athletes already lost an entire season this past spring.

The WIAA released a document entitled “2020 WIAA Return to Fall Sports Considerations,” which offers assistance to athletic administrators that plan to hold athletic events in the coming weeks and months. The document can be read at https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Health/Covid/WIAA-Return-to-Fall-Sp....

“For planning and scheduling purposes, schools will be required to initially declare if they plan to participate in the traditional fall season or the alternate fall season in the spring by Sept. 1,” stated the WIAA release. “Athletic directors at member schools will receive an email with a link to the online form to declare their intentions.”

RELATED: Several WIAA rules, regulations adjusted for 2020-21