Fall sports will go ahead with some delayed starts
By Ed Byrne
The Brillion News
STEVENS POINT – In a virtual meeting on Thursday, July 23, the Board of Control of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association rejected a call for the fall sports season to be moved to the spring, with the spring 2021 season to be competed in the summer of 2021.
That proposal had come from schools in the southwest part of the state.
That idea was rejected and the WIAA board decided to start “low-risk” sports as the current WIAA calendar outlines. Cross country, girls’ golf and girls’ swimming and diving will start on August 17.
But the higher-contact sports – football, boys’ soccer, and volleyball will start on September 7, after school is already up and running.
The board kept open the possibility of some school moving sports from this fall to next spring if they didn’t feel comfortable participating this fall. No details about that option were discussed, though.
The WIAA surveyed its members recently, at the request of the state school district administrators’ organization.
In that survey, 15 percent of the schools said the fall season should begin as scheduled, 22 percent wanted the start of the season delayed, 51 percent wanted the “southwest plan” implemented will fall 2020 sports moved to the spring of 2021, and 10 percent wanted the fall season cancelled altogether.
If fall sports would take place, the survey said 40 percent of the schools wanted to play the regular season only, with no WIAA tournaments; 57 percent wants to decrease the number of regular season games and keep the WIAA state championship series games.
“We need to get out of the mindset that there’s no point in having a season if we can’t find a [state] champion,” WIAA Executive Director David Anderson said. “That’s absolutely wrong in education-based athletics.”
Anderson said the association needs to be flexible, saying one size does not fit all, and could run two seasons for any sport in order to give each school an opportunity to play when it feels right.
Board members said the rules for summer practices were rather detailed and strict, but the student athletes followed them because playing was that important.
This is a basic story. The complete story will be featured in the July 30 print edition of THE BRILLION NEWS.
Anyone wishing to view the three-hour board meeting will find it archived at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSW8P3ZYGFY&feature=youtu.be