GENERAL NEWS

AIA hoping all Arizona high school sports can play some form of a season

Jul 5, 2020, 6:27 PM
(AP Photo/LM Otero)...
(AP Photo/LM Otero)
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

No Arizona high school sports will be played as long as in-person teaching is prohibited due to the coronavirus, but the Arizona Interscholastic Association is holding out hope that every sport can have “some semblance” of a season.

AIA Executive Director David Hines told AZPreps365 that if a return to relatively normal activities can progress “as we’re hoping they can” amidst the coronavirus pandemic, football and fall soccer would be delayed about three weeks and the other fall sports would have a delay of one week before practices can begin.

“We certainly have plans if we can start where we currently are now, we may have to make adjustments to our season,” Hines said. “We have some things built into our schedule we may be able to work with. Our goal is to have some semblance of a season in every sport that we have, if at all possible.”

The end of the spring sports seasons in the 2019-20 school year were canceled due to the coronavirus, and Arizona’s recent rise in number of cases, ICU bed occupancy and percentage of positive tests led Gov. Doug Ducey to announce June 29 that in-person instruction would not begin until Aug. 17 at the earliest.

The AIA announced shortly after that sports seasons would also be delayed until that time.

“As long as school is in session and you can go in person, then we can put together different modifications that we think we can be able to have a sport and compete,” Hines said. “If there is no school, that takes us right out of the mix.”

Hines said the organization is working with the National Federation of State High School Associations to figure out rule modifications that could help keep the athletes safe and equipment sanitized.

It’s unclear when fans would be allowed at the stadium. Public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, which, with team sizes of most sports, would essentially disqualify fans from attending until Arizona can progress into a further phase of coronavirus recovery.

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AIA hoping all Arizona high school sports can play some form of a season