WIAA Makes Smart Decision With 2020 Fall Sports
Right now, the debate raging through our country is what to do about schools in the Fall. It is a tough conversation and one not for a sports blog to have. What we can talk about is the fall sports angle. Some states are not playing until the Spring. California, for example, is waiting until Spring 2021 to play sports, and some football recruits are enrolling early versus playing their senior year. Wisconsin will not be following suit. WIAA announced that low-risk sports can begin in mid-August while the high-risk sports will begin after Labor Day. This is a smart move by all involved parties.
Football coaches are likely upset that they will not have any practices before the school year, it makes a ton of sense to push back the start of football. Wisconsin is scuffling right now with COVID-19 as cases continue to rise among 15-35-year-olds. At least in Milwaukee and Madison, the hope is with the mask mandate that the two biggest hot spots for COVID-19 will start to go down and could look strong by Labor Day. Green Bay and Racine are both requiring masks starting on Monday. Masks do not solve everything, but it could be the pathway to ensuring high school football happens this year.
Coaches will have to adjust to COVID-19 possibilities. There should be less face-to-face contact during practice. A focus on making sure kids are taking home their clothes, trying to social distance, and do all the other things that are required. Routine tests are likely too expensive but there could be an opportunity with thermometers to at least temperature check every athlete before practice. The COVID-19 risk is extremely low in school children, so it is not a lurking monster. But it is better to be safe than sorry for not having an outbreak.
WIAA isn’t always known for many sound, smart decisions, but this is one of them. Spring sports are too hard to pull off in the State of Wisconsin. If football began on March 1st, for example, there is no telling what the weather could be. There could be rain, five inches of snow, sunshine, wind, who knows. Playing in the fall with a slight delay in hopes Wisconsin turns around the COVID issue is a good move. Let’s hope all these kids can play their fall sports.