AIA Board postpones winter sports activities to January

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Exercise has given many people a sense of normalcy at a time when it was anything but normal due to COVID-19. The return to normalcy will be delayed for winter sports enthusiasts.

In a statement released Thursday, November 19, the Arizona Athletic Association announced that after the New Year, winter sports would begin on Tuesday, January 5, at the earliest.

“At a special meeting of the Arizona Interscholastic Association board of directors on Thursday, board members voted to postpone the start of the winter sports competition season to an acceptable start date on January 5, 2021,” the statement said. The last permitted competition day for winter sports is Friday, February 19, 2021, including all warm-up competitions. “

Schools must complete at least 14 days of training before they can return to a particular sport.

The decision of the board – consisting of administrators from different schools – corresponds to the recommendation of the AIA to the board on Monday, November 16.

“We believe that students are safer in the school environment than not being in school at all,” said David Hines, executive director of AIA, in the statement. “If we delay the start of the season, our coaches and administrators have time to implement safety protocols and make sport modifications. Just like when you get the fall sport going, you can keep our sport going if you do things right. “

He added, “The board felt it was necessary for these students to fight to stand a chance. They see the need in the schools they represent. “

What does this mean for post-season qualification?

The rules for post-season qualification are set by the leaders of each conference. Those in charge will meet as soon as possible to determine the procedures for qualifying for the postseason, as well as the minimum number for the number of games played.

Are viewers allowed?

Currently no. The statement said: “No fans will be admitted until the readings are appropriate. AIA staff will communicate with schools and districts across the country to regularly assess readiness. “

This is a departure from the fall sport when the AIA left it to each individual school.

Can student athletes continue to participate in club sports during the longer break?

Not without punishment.

“If a student-athlete participates with a team / group outside of school, this student-athlete is excluded from training and competition with the school team for 14 days since the last training or competition of the team / group outside of school.” AIA Statement said.

What does this mean for spring sports?
The start of spring sport practices has been postponed for a week. It was originally scheduled for Monday February 8th. Now the first day of the official spring sports training is Monday, February 15th. Currently, the AIA Spring Sports Championship season calendar is intact.

As with anything to do with COVID-19, this situation remains fluid. You can find the latest updates at AZpreps365.com and AIAonline.org. The situation will continue to be updated in the Sedona Red Rock News and online at Redrocknews.com.

Individual schools will continue to decide whether the press is allowed during games. During the fall sport season, all schools allowed media presence in the coverage area. As long as it stays that way, we’ll cover as many games as possible.

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