AIA creates preliminary plan for high school sports
ARIZONA — The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) has created preliminary plans for high school athletic programs following Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive action to delay the start of in-person schooling to Aug. 17.
Fall athletic season
Preliminary plans are in place to finish all fall sports seasons on time and in full with modifications. Some of these ideas, among others, will 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 outline includes:
• 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 – week of Sept. 7
Executive Director David Hines met with the Arizona Department of Health Services recently to address return to school and return to play protocols. The health department is in favor of the AIA’s guidelines for return to sport and activity.
The AIA and the Executive Board continue to promote these guidelines for schools to follow in preparation for the fall.
The AIA views Aug. 17, as that date identified as the start of the AIA fall season. Until then, all schools must operate under summer rules as per the AIA handbook.
Cancellation of Fall Season
If a school determines that it cannot operate a fall sports season due to the pandemic, the AIA will respect that decision. The AIA will help the schools losing contests find new ones to fill out schedules.
Initially, member school principals were to be surveyed at the beginning of the first and third weeks of July to get a sense of what their reopening plans entailed. Since this was announced before Governor Ducey’s executive action, the two surveys will now become one survey that will go out to all member school principals on Aug. 4 and due back to the association by the Aug. 7. The results will be shared with the Crisis Management Committee before it goes before the Executive Board on Aug. 17 at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Any and all plans can change if the timeline shifts.
Information provided by the AIA