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AIA Executive Board Approves Revised Fall Sports Calendar

The high school football season was slated to start on Thursday, Aug. 20 with Marana visiting Mountain in the “Battle of the Boot” but state health mandates and executive orders from the governor’s office put the fall season in temporary limbo due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) stood firm on the possibility of having a fall sport season and the organization sent out a survey to each member school to decide the next course of action. The AIA Executive Board held a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and the board approved an athletics calendar for the fall calendar.

The dates, as always, are subject to change depending on state directives and health and safety guidelines.

“The health and safety of our student participants, coaches, officials and essential personnel, including volunteers, is the primary concern for the return of interscholastic athletics and activities,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines in a release. “We are very grateful to those who share our commitment of a return to these highly beneficial educational activities and athletics.”

The member schools responded with a choice for a phased-in schedule.

“We owe it to our members to provide a direction,” stated Executive Board President and Safford Athletic Director Toni Corona in the release. “It may be challenging to get everything going for all the schools at one time but with good communication, we can provide the best possible experience for our students in this unprecedented time. This Board and the AIA staff will continue to provide information and guidelines as we proceed.”

In addition, conference committees are amending the scheduling process and all schedules will appear live on AZPreps365.com.

According to the release, the 1A-3A conferences are currently discussing possibilities for length of their regular seasons and when to hold state championships. Spiritline tryouts may begin as early as August 17th based on a school’s particular needs. However, stunting may not begin until September 7th. Esports registration is currently ongoing with a preseason start date of Sept. 15.

Golf
First practice – Aug. 17
First competition – Aug. 24
Championships – Oct. 26-29 (Div. I), Nov. 2-5 (Div. II)

Cross Country
First Practice – Aug. 24
First Competition – Sept. 9
Championships – Nov. 12-13

Swimming & Diving
First Practice – Aug. 24
First Competition – Sept. 14
Championships – Nov. 5-7

Badminton
First Practice – Aug. 31
First Competition – Sept. 14
Championships – Nov. 7 (Individuals), Nov. 9-12 (Teams)

Fall Soccer
First Practice – Aug. 31
First Competition – Sept. 16
Championships – Nov. 4-7

Volleyball
First Practice – Aug. 31
First Competition – Sept. 21
Championships – Nov. 12-21

Football
First Practice – Sept. 7
First Competition – Sept. 30-Oct. 3
Championships – Dec. 11/12 (4A-6A & Open)

(Blake Wilson State Graphic)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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