Arizona high school sports starting dates postponed due to coronavirus
The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced Monday that the start of the high school sports season will be delayed.
As coronavirus cases and positive test rates increase in Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey declared that in-person instruction will not begin until at least Aug. 17.
After Ducey’s executive order was announced, the AIA said in a statement that starting dates of practices and games for all fall sports and activities will be postponed.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure that when we get back up and going again, the transition will be as seamless as possible and to create memorable interscholastic experiences,” AIA Executive Director Dave Hines said in a statement.
“We’ll be able to accomplish that as long as everyone does their part to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.”
A timeline for a potential return to play has not been finalized.
Ducey did not issue a specific ruling on sports, but said he is working with county health officials to make a decision on youth sports guidelines.
In-person classroom instruction in Arizona ended in mid-March as schools transitioned to online and remote education to finish the academic year.
Most schools were scheduled to begin the year in early August.
Ducey’s executive orders signed on Monday also included the closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks for 30 days.
Additionally, organized events of more than 50 people have been prohibited.
Sunday was the fourth day in a row that Arizona reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases. Of tests that had been processed, 11.7% had come back positive. That rate had been 6.7% on May 31.
Monday’s data was incomplete, the Arizona Department of Health Services said, because the lab partner that performs about 80% of the state’s diagnostic testing for COVID-19 did not meet the daily data submission deadline.
The incomplete report Monday had 625 new coronavirus cases with no new deaths, bringing the state’s totals up to 74,533 cases and 1,588 deaths.