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WIAA Board of Control votes to delay start of fall sports, but proceed nonetheless

07/23/2020, 4:15pm CDT
By Travis Wilson

Muskego's hopes for a third straight Division 1 title remain alive after the WIAA Board of Control voted to push back the start of the 2020 fall season

We have a path forward. It isn't the one everyone wanted, it isn't the perfect solution, but it is a positive step in the return to play for high school athletics in Wisconsin.

At Thursday's special WIAA Board of Control meeting, the group voted by an 8-3 margin to approve a plan that delays the start of "higher risk" sports of football, boys soccer, boys volleyball, and girls volleyball to begin practices the week of September 7th. "Lower risk" sports of girls golf, girls tennis, swimming & diving, and cross country will begin on August 17th.

The measure comes as the state high school association deals with how to bring back prep sports amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the cancelation of the boys and girls basketball state tournaments and all of the spring sports seasons in 2020.

The WIAA Board of Control also gave consideration to a school-initiated proposal that would have moved fall sports to the spring, and spring sports into the summer period. Developed by a group of school administrators in CESA #3, WIAA staff and board members expressed concerns about the impact it would have on the spring sports, who would be competing with club and other non-school options in the summer. Also, discussion involved the challenges that football and boys soccer teams in the northern part of the state would have with weather and field conditions, especially those with grass fields. There were also medical concerns about a spring/summer football season and then beginning the sport again in early August of 2021.

Instead, Board member Scott Winch of Stratford made a motion to move the fall sports dates as described above and ultimately passed. Phil Ertl of Wauwatosa made a motion to amend that proposal so that the "higher risk" sports would start August 24th, but it was defeated 9-2. 

The Board then returned to Winch's proposal, passing it by a vote of 8-3. For those schools who are not able to offer a fall season, the plan does call for development of spring options for those programs. What that may look like remains to be seen.

About the Author

Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.

For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.

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