A Salpointe Men's Volleyball Team player shows off his hand-eye coordination skills.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced all school-related athletics and activities will be delayed until Aug. 17, in response to Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order Monday pushing back the start date of all state schools.
As a result, high school fall sports practice will be delayed until Arizona schools reopen mid-August and the fall competition season will also be postponed. AIA officials have not yet announced when the competition season will resume.
“We couldn’t be more disappointed about the information that just came out regarding our schools,” Executive Director David Hines said. “However, we understand that the most pressing concern is to ensure our student-athletes can return to school in the safest way possible.”
The AIA is continuing to assess how to reschedule the season state-wide to help the AIA Executive Board have a better idea of when fall competition will begin. If revised timelines for the fall interfere with the winter sports season, those schedules will also be addressed at a later date, according to Hines.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure that when we get back up and going again, the transition will be as seamless as possible and to create memorable interscholastic experiences,” Hines said. “We’ll be able to accomplish that as long as everyone does their part to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus.”
State interscholastic teams are expected to follow the summer rules as a part of the AIA Bylaws and Sports Policies
until schools reopen as a part of Gov. Ducey’s first phase of state-wide reopening. Additionally, the AIA recommends schools follow the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee’s Recommendations for Phase 1 Activity until classes resume mid-August.
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On top of announcing state schools would remain closed due to coronavirus concerns, Gov. Ducey’s executive order also signaled the closure of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, and river tubing for the next 30 days to help curb the virus’ spread.
Ducey also urges all Arizonans to wear a facemask as the number of cases surge in the state.
“Twenty-nine states have seen increases of COVID-19 cases over the last week. In Arizona, we are seeing an increase higher than the other states,” Gov. Ducey said at Monday’s conference. “The time of additional action is upon us.”