In response to Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order today for the state of Arizona, in part pushing back the start of the school year until Aug. 17, the Arizona Interscholastic Association will delay the resumption of all school-related athletics and activities until then, the AIA announced today.
“This will push back the starting dates of practice for all fall sports and activities, and delay the start of competition seasons,” the AIA mentioned in a statement. “The AIA will continue to meet with the numerous statewide stakeholders and prepare to create alternative sports schedules. The principals will receive surveys at a later date to more closely coincide with the state’s target date of reopening schools.”
The high school football season was to start Aug. 20. Other fall sports, including cross country, were to begin Aug. 18.
The AIA also mentioned that member school principals will not receive surveys regarding reopening procedures as was the case this month.
“We couldn’t be more disappointed about the information that just came out regarding our schools. However, we understand that the most pressing concern is to ensure our student-athletes can return to school in the safest way possible,” Executive Director David Hines said. “We will do everything in our power to make sure that when we get back up and going again, the transition will be as seamless as possible and to create memorable interscholastic experiences. And we’ll be able to accomplish that as long as everyone does their part to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.”
The governor’s executive action means members will continue to operate under summer rules until schools are officially reopened. Arizona is still currently in Governor Ducey’s first phase of statewide reopening.
Exact dates for the beginning of competition will not be finalized until the AIA gathers information from the schools to present to the AIA Executive Board for consideration. If revised timelines for the fall interfere with the winter sports season, those schedules will also be addressed at a later date.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.