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WIAA keeps Wisconsin fall high school sports, delays start

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The WIAA Board of Control voted 8-3 Thursday, July 23, to delay the beginning of all fall sports seasons in the state. Now, it’s up to individual schools to decide if they want to play ball and work on their own plans.

St. Francis Athletic Director Doug Sarver says he and athletic directors across the state got the direction they needed.

“We’ll work from here and start filling out schedules for practices, equipment issues, those things and get ready for their start dates,” Sarver said.

The plan is for so called low-risk sports like cross country and girls tennis to be able to start practice Aug. 17.

High-risk sports like football and boys soccer will be able to start practice Sept. 7.

WIAA Execuitive Director Dave Anderson said those categories were based on proximity and duration.

“The longer you and I are up close and personal, and in personal contact, the closer that contact and the duration of that contact equates to exposure,” Anderson said.

Things wont be the same this season. Different sports have different guidelines to prevent spreading the virus.

“There’s guidelines that are set both by the WIAA and our health department, and our school district, and we’re going to follow social distancing, handwashing, you know, all the different guidelines that we need to follow to keep kids safe,” Sarver said.

Anderson says individual districts can always opt out, and the virus situation could change. This vote from the board does not guarantee a season.

“In my opinion it’s the best decision possible in order to provide a chance for hope, a chance to provide opportunity to kids across the state. Understand because of their action they are not able to make any guarantees that it can come to be, but they’ve given us the opportunity to at least hope, and work in that direction.”

The WIAA is still working on a plan for a spring option for individual school districts that decide not to participate in fall sports.

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