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WIAA Defines “Alternate Season” for School Sports

The fate of school sports in Wisconsin has been in limbo since the outbreak of COVID-19.  This week, the WIAA board made a decision and defined “alternate seasons” for the 20-21 school year.

Below is the official news release from the WIAA:

Board Defines Alternate Season; Winter & Spring Seasons Shortened

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association approved several details of a one-year alternative season in the spring for fall sports and reduced the number of weeks for sports during the 2020-21 winter and spring seasons at its August meeting today.

The Board established the parameters and context of the alternate fall season with seven weeks of competition 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 or complete 50 percent of the fall season, including games and practices, are eligible for a complete alternate season. Fall sports programs exceeding 50 percent of their seasons will be considered a completed season.

For planning and scheduling purposes, schools will be required to initially declare if they plan to participate in the traditional fall season or the alternate fall season in the spring by Sept. 1. Athletic directors at member schools will receive an email with a link to the online form to declare their intentions.

The revised sports calendar replaces the existing 2020-21 season calendars and identifies – in addition to an alternate fall season in the spring with seven weeks of competition – a period of no coaching contact prior to the start of the respective sport seasons; an acclimatization or practice period before the first allowed competition; and the designated number of weeks for the winter and spring seasons, including any culminating event. The Board acknowledges all schedules are subject to change if conditions warrant in accordance with local, state and national health guidelines.

2020-21 Fall Sports Season Start & End Dates (* End dates to be determined)
Cross Country-Boys & Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 – Week of Oct. 26*)
Football (Monday, Sept. 7 – Week of Nov. 16*) – Earliest first game is Wednesday, Sept. 23
Golf-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 – Week of Oct. 12*)
Soccer-Boys (Monday, Sept. 7 – Week of Nov. 2*)
Swimming & Diving-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 – Week of Nov. 9*)
Tennis-Girls (Monday, Aug. 17 – Week of Oct. 19*)
Volleyball – Boys & Girls (Monday, Sept. 7 – Week of Nov. 2*)

2020-21 Winter Sports Season Start & End Dates
Basketball-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 – Week of March 1*)
Basketball-Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 – Week of Feb. 22*)
Gymnastics (Monday, Nov. 16 – Week of Feb. 22*)
Hockey- Boys & Girls (Monday, Nov. 16 – Week of Feb. 15*)
Swimming & Diving-Boys (Monday, Nov. 23 – Week of Feb. 1*)
Wrestling (Monday, Nov. 23 – Week of Feb. 15*)

2020-21 Alternate Fall Sports Season Start & End Dates
Cross Country-Boys & Girls (Monday, March 15 – Week of May 3*)
Football (Monday, March 8 – Week of May 3*) – Earliest first game is Wednesday, March 24
Golf-Girls (Monday, March 29 – Week of May 17*)
Soccer-Boys (Monday, March 22 – Week of May 10*)
Swimming & Diving-Girls (Monday, Feb. 15 – Week of April 5*)
Tennis-Girls (Monday, March 8 – Week of April 26*)
Volleyball – Boys & Girls (Monday, Feb. 22 – Week of April 12*)

2020-21 Spring Sports Season Start & End Dates
Baseball (Monday, April 19 – Week of June 28*)
Golf-Boys (Monday, April 19 – Week of June 14*)
Softball (Monday, April 19 – Week of June 28*)
Soccer-Girls (Monday, April 26 – Week of June 28*)
Tennis-Boys (Monday, May 3 – Week of June 21*)
Track & Field – Boys & Girls (Monday, April 19 – Week of June 28*)

The revised calendar emphasizes the Board’s position to accommodate all the sport seasons in 2020-21 with the knowledge a number of member schools having already determined interscholastic activities are not able to be conducted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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