(WQOW) - The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association approved its plan for an alternate fall sports season on Friday.
The plan will allow schools that choose to not participate in the traditional fall sports season due to COVID-19 concerns the opportunity to play next spring.
The WIAA has asked schools to decide by September 1 if they will play fall sports in the fall, shift all sports to the alternative season in the spring, or utilize a blended schedule, with some sports in the fall and others in the spring.
Football programs unable to start or complete 50 percent of the fall season, including games and practices, are eligible for a prorated alternate season.
Other fall sports unable to start of complete 50 percent of the fall season, including games and practices, are eligible for a complete alternate season.
Fall sports programs that play more than 50 percent of the season will count as a completed season.
School districts and county health departments will determine health and safety protocols for competition. More guidance from the state is expected in the coming days.
The Board of Control considered six alternate schedule proposals. The first option was approved by a unanimous vote.
Under the plan, the winter and spring sports seasons will shrink to accommodate the alternate fall season. Postseason tournaments are an option for all sports in all seasons except for the alternate (spring) football season. There is also an opportunity for teams to play additional games once they are eliminated from the postseason.
Current fall sports
Football: starts September 7, ends week of November 16, postseason possible
Girls golf: starts August 17, ends week of October 12, postseason possible
Girls tennis: starts August 17, ends week of October 19, postseason possible
Girls swim/dive: starts August 17, ends week of November 9, postseason possible
Boys soccer: starts September 7, ends week of November 2, postseason possible
Cross country (boys and girls): starts August 17, ends week of October 26, postseason possible
Volleyball (boys and girls): starts September 7, ends week of November 2, postseason possible
Wrestling: starts November 23, ends week of February 15, postseason possible
Hockey (boys and girls): starts November 16, ends week of February 15, postseason possible
Girls basketball: starts November 16, ends week of February 22, postseason possible
Boys basketball: starts November 23, ends week of March 1, postseason possible
Boys swim/dive: starts November 23, ends week of February 1, postseason possible
Gymnastics: starts November 16, ends week of February 22, postseason possible
Alternate fall sports
Football: starts March 8, ends week of May 3, no postseason possible
Girls golf: starts March 29, ends week of May 17, postseason possible
Girls swim/dive: starts February 15, ends week of April 5, postseason possible
Girls tennis: starts March 8, ends week of April 26, postseason possible
Boys soccer: starts March 22, ends week of May 10, postseason possible
Cross Country (boys and girls): starts March 15, ends week of May 3, postseason possible
Volleyball (boys and girls): starts February 22, ends week of April 12, postseason possible
Track and field: starts April 19, ends week of June 28, postseason possible
Softball: starts April 19, ends week of June 28, postseason possible
Baseball: starts April 19, ends week of June 28, postseason possible
Boys tennis: starts May 3, ends week of June 21, postseason possible
Boys golf: starts April 19, ends week of June 14, postseason possible
Girls soccer: starts April 26, ends week of June 28, postseason possible
A number of other rules and regulations were modified or suspended in 2020-21 to provide flexibility to members and licensed officials during the pandemic.
-If tournament series are conducted, regional groupings will be implemented (four teams in football).
-All minimum number of contests requirement for tournament eligibility will be suspended in 2020-21.
-All tournament series seeding will be conducted virtually in 2020-21.
-All nonborder out-of-state competitions or practices are strongly discouraged.
-All multiple-team events from outside a host’s region is strongly discouraged.
-Co-op programs that include schools that are unable to participate in activities during 2020-21 may seek other co-op partners to provide opportunities for participation.
-With conference approval, schools whose conference has canceled sports in 2020-21 may seek schedule relief with other conferences as an independent without sanctions or going through the prescribed conference realignment process.
-For 2020-21, programs may schedule contests after they are eliminated from the WIAA tournament or culminating event respective sport’s revised season.
-Schools that were unable to conduct their five unrestricted coaching contact days during the 2020 summer may schedule those days during the 2020-21 calendar provided there is one week of no contact prior to the start of the respective season. However, during the closed-session meeting, the Board directed staff to have discussions on coaching contact during 2020-21 placed on the agenda of the September meeting.
-Licensed officials will not drop in classification in 2021-22 if they choose not to renew licensure or are unable to fill a varsity schedule. in 2020-21.
The board also determined student-athletes may compete in no more than two nonschool events with school approval during each regular sports season in 2020-21 only, which adopts the middle-level regulation. An 'event' will be defined as a game or tournament.