MADISON—The Big Eight Conference announced Monday that it will follow the guidelines of the WIAA and that all school training, practices, scrimmages and contests would be suspended until April 6.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order Friday that closed all public and private schools and suspends all spring sports activities from March 18 until April 6.

The executive order was in response to current information available relating to COVID-19 coronavirus and to prevent, suppress and control the disease. The WIAA said it has updated its athletic participation limitations to adhere to the executive order..

Coaches are permitted to provide individual workouts virtually, but are not allowed to encourage or organize their team assembling to practice.

The Big Eight announced the following statement Monday:

“The Big Eight Conference supports the fact that education based athletics is a privilege and not a right which gives us an added level of responsibility. When we continue to have school, we may have the responsibility of making more restrictive decisions related to athletics and extra-curriculars.

“We continue to get regular updates and guidance from Public Health and communicate with the WIAA to make isure we get correct information out as soon as we can. You can expect updates of timelines and information on Friday’s going forward related to Big Eight athletics.

“When school is closed or buildings are closed, we will not hold practice, nor encourage students to group together, or practice without a coach. A program could be shared for individual training or workouts that can be completed individually. We would suggest using Google Classroom or another shared virtual space to do that and give student athletes resources when they’re potentially not able to come to school or participate in athletics for an extended period of time.

“At a minimum we could return to practices April 6th and Big Eight Conference competitions April 20th, school-by-school decisions and non-conference competition expectations may vary. We will support all schools in their local decisions and follow the guidance of the WIAA.”