WIAA pulls plug on spring sports
By Greg Seubert and Rich Palzewic
It’s official. The WIAA Board of Control voted April 21 to cancel the spring sports season before it even started because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The vote came less than a week after Gov. Tony Evers extended the state’s Safer at Home order until May 26. The order also called for all public and private schools to close for the remainder of the 2019-10 school year.
Evers’ original order Safer at Home was set to expire Friday, April 24, which left the door open for a shortened season.
The WIAA announced March 12 that the final two days of the girls’ basketball tournament and the rest of the boys’ basketball tournaments would be cancelled.
The organization later suspended the spring sports season before competition began.
The University of Wisconsin announced earlier this month that the WIAA couldn’t use its UW facilities in Madison for state softball, boys’ golf and boys’ tennis tournaments in June.
The WIAA oversees Wisconsin’s high school sports programs. Spring sports include baseball, softball, track, boys’ tennis, boys’ golf and girls’ soccer.
The board also voted to expand out-of-season coach contact opportunities to 30 days (originally five) for spring sports athletes (9-12) during summer, pending local guidelines.
This could include Class of 2020 athletes, who otherwise could not have been included.
The 30 days of coach contact is not a WIAA summer season, but allows teams to get together and potentially practice or compete with other teams using school resources.
It’s up to each school to allow, not allow or limit the activities.
To expand to 30 days, this must include seniors, otherwise the contact days will remain at five.