STEVENS POINT, Wis.—The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association officially pulled the plug on the state’s high school spring sports Tuesday.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, the WIAA had suspended spring sports due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Board of Control met online Tuesday and voted 10-1 to cancel the season.
The WIAA’s move surprised no one after Gov. Tony Evers last Thursday extended the state’s safer-at-home order and closed the state’s schools for the remainder of the school year.
The Illinois High School Association also canceled spring high school sports seasons on Tuesday.
High school sports in Wisconsin have been halted since March 12. The girls state basketball tournament was halted after one day of play and the boys tournament was halted after the completion of sectional semifinals.
Some spring sports practices had begun, but no events were held and the season was suspended when Evers issued his order March 13.
The Board of Control did leave the possibility for some senior athletes to gain some closure. In its vote it extended summer contact periods for spring sport coaches from five days to 30 days. After the concussion of the school year (July 1), if government orders and regulations allow, teams (including athletes currently in grades 9-12) would be allowed to practice and hold competitions. Such decisions would be made at the local level.
In a press release, Executive Director Dave Anderson stated: “We want to extend our sincere empathy and regrets to all the student-athletes and coaches that have worked hard in anticipation of participating in sports this spring, particularly the seniors. The Board of Control and Executive Staff have been resolute in their hopes to preserve some chance to play one more time, and it is our hope that by providing the extended unrestricted days, we can provide some opportunities and closure for spring sport student-athletes.”
Spring sports coaches may continue to provide individual virtual instruction for student-athletes with training, conditioning and skill development until the end of the respective spring sports season, which is the final day of the scheduled 2020 State Tournament for the respective sport.
Fall and winter sports coaches’ contact may begin July 1, provided restrictions on assembling in groups are removed—and will follow the existing prescribed summertime dates and unrestricted contact regulations with a maximum of five days of contact.
• IHSA: The Illinois High School Association on Tuesday canceled state tournaments for all spring sports because of COVID-19.
The IHSA’s action comes after Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week closed the state’s public schools to in-person instruction through the end of the academic year.
Spring tournaments were canceled in baseball, bass fishing, boys gymnastics, lacrosse, girls track and field, water polo, softball, girls soccer and badminton.
Association officials say it may consider allowing competition when health officials deem it is safe. If sports are allowed by state government to resume this summer, the IHSA will issue new contact guidelines and will consider allow spring sports teams to play a limited number of games.