On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) Executive Board voted to postpone the winter sports season due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the state of Arizona.
The board voted for a permissible start date of Jan. 5, 2021. The last permissible day of competition will be Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. This includes all play-in competitions.
According to the AIA, schools must participate in a minimum of 14 days of practice before any competitions can begin.
The AIA also released guidelines for the Winter season, stating that no fans will be permitted until metrics are appropriate. AIA staff will be communicating with schools and districts statewide to evaluate readiness. No scrimmages, invitational tournaments or region tournaments will be allowed. No out of state competitions will be allowed. The AIA also states that if a student-athlete participates with a non-school team/group, that student-athlete is excluded from practice and competition with the school team for 14 days since the last practice or competition of the non-school team/group.
“We feel that the students are safer within the school environment than not to be in school at all,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines. “Delaying the start of the season will give our coaches and administrators time to implement safety protocols and put sports modifications in place. Just like getting fall sports off the ground, doing things the right way will allow for our sports to continue.”