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AIA approves guidelines, football practice set to begin on Monday

Arizona high school football. (Photo by Tyler Drake)

The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) executive board approved the latest guidelines set by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) on Wednesday, continuing with the plan of fall high school sports returning in the state.

In the return plan originally set back in the first week of August, football practices will begin on Monday and games are set to start on Sept. 30.

The board cited an improvement in case numbers across the state the past two weeks, as well as an approval of the guidelines in place.

“I would like to say on behalf of the staff and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, especially for the sport of football, we would not have been able to make this decision until this time right now based on the metrics,” executive director David Hines said. “So the metrics have gotten to a place that we can start football practice. That we can start the heat acclimatization (guidelines). That we can get kids in a helmet and shoulder pads and begin doing work.”

Those guidelines are available to the public.

Golf is already underway in Arizona, and several other sports have begun tryouts and practice, such as volleyball, soccer and cross country.