PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) Executive Board voted on Thursday to postpone the winter season of sports.
The board voted for a permissible start date of Jan. 5, 2021. The last permissible day of competition for winter sports will be Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, which includes any play-in competitions.
This all due to rising COVID-19 cases, infections and positivity rates.
According to the AIA, schools must participate in a minimum of 14 days or practice before any competitions can begin.
The AIA released the following guidelines for the season even to begin:
- 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.
- All winter sports modifications are required.
- No fans will be permitted until metrics are appropriate. AIA staff will be communicating with schools and districts statewide to evaluate readiness on a regular basis.
- No scrimmages, invitational tournaments or region tournaments will be allowed.
- No out-of-state competitions will be allowed.
“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.
The first day of permissible practice for spring sports has also been pushed back from Feb. 8 to Feb. 15, 2021.