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WIAA releases new start dates for fall high school sports

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- After considering a number of different possibilities, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) has released new dates for the 2020 fall sports season.

In an unprecedented situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WIAA Board of Control approved (8-3 decision) a play to begin fall sports with a delayed start.

Sports will be divided into two separate categories, based on risk level. High risk activities (including football, boys soccer, and volleyball) will have their first practices pushed back to September 7th. Games for high risk sports are eligible to start on Wednesday, September 23.

Low risk activities (including cross country, girls golf, girls swimming, and girls tennis) may begin on August 17. Golf competitions may begin on August 20, girls tennis may begin on August 21, while cross country and swimming will wait for August 25 for competition.

The end of the fall sports season remains unchanged, and the football season must be finished by November 20 if it is played in the fall.

Individual schools may still opt out of these days on policies if they wish to further delay activities. The WIAA has indicated that there will be spring opportunities for schools that opt to delay fall sports.

Northwestern Athletic Director Brian Smith says that the Heart O' North Conference will discuss the future of their schedule in a meeting on Wednesday, July 29.

"It's safe to say that we will not be playing our two non-conference games against Ashland and Rice Lake," said Smith. "The first game at the earliest will probably be on September 25."

Smith added that there is still a lot to be determined, and that he expects much more in the coming weeks from the WIAA.

For the full press release, click here.

Matt Halverson

Sports Anchor and Reporter

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