The Arizona Interscholastic Association responded with this tweet today following Gov. Doug Ducey’s press conference concerning plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic that in-person education at the state’s schools remains Aug. 17:
“With Governor Ducey’s latest announcement that the start of in-person school has not changed, AIA fall season will move forward as scheduled. Aug. 17 is first date of practice,” the tweet reads.
With Governor Ducey's latest announcement that the start of in-person school has not changed, AIA fall season will move forward as scheduled. Aug. 17 is first date of practice.
Season start dates/info: https://t.co/H3ogrnA57U
Video Q&A w/ David Hines: https://t.co/tVSDG9gMh0 pic.twitter.com/gVWipuNyCs
— AZPreps365 (@AZPreps365) July 23, 2020
The tweet referred to an article for season start dates and information that included this line: “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.”
An AIA press release on July 10 mentioned that preliminary plans are in place to finish all fall sports seasons on time and in full with modifications based on the Aug. 17 opening date for school campuses. Some of the ideas were to be taken to the leadership of each conference as decisions would need to be made for who would qualify for the postseason and how many schools per sport.
The preliminary outlines were:
- Football – For 2A-6A, an 8-10 game schedule can be achieved by starting competition on the week of Sept. 7. The current playoff structure may have to be adjusted after input from the membership. 1A football is currently looking at modifications, if necessary.
- The remainder of the fall sports can be adjusted slightly to possibly ensure complete regular seasons.
- It is possible that regular season invitationals and tournaments may be limited or cancelled due to venue allowances and other restrictions.
- Below are the estimated starting dates for competition:
- Golf – Aug. 24
- Badminton – Aug. 31
- All other fall sports including football – week of Sept. 7. Football games may be scheduled that Thursday or Friday (Sept. 10 or 11).
High school football coaches in the state, including 19 from Southern Arizona, recently issued a letter to the AIA with their names on it requesting the AIA plan for their sport in the spring if a situation arises that forces a cancellation in the fall.
Neighboring states California and New Mexico have instituted plans for fall sports to be played in the spring.
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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.