WIAA cancels spring sports seasons

Local athletes competed at Day 1 of the Division 2 and 3 state track and field meet at UW-La Crosse May 31, 2019.
Local athletes compete at Day 1 of the Division 2 and 3 state track and field meet at UW-La Crosse, May 31, 2019. (WLUK/Doug Ritchay)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The WIAA canceled all of the scheduled spring sports seasons and state tournaments Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic -- while still keeping the door open for delayed seasons to be held in summer.

In a video conference call, the Board of Control decided there is no way to hold the seasons while complying with the "Safer at Home order" -- and with no specific information available for when games and matches could be held, it’s not feasible to plan for them right now. But members hold out hope something can be held in summer.

“We want to do that,” said Eric Russell from Baldwin-Woodville.

But given the almost daily changes, even these plans could change.

“If the landscape changes dramatically between now and May 1, we will come back to (the Board),” said executive director Dave Anderson.

Once the state's "Safer At Home" orders are lifted, the WIAA created a 30-day window for competition to happen. Even if the delayed seasons are held, however, there will not be any state tournaments to cap the seasons.

“My inclination is the standard spring sports window is closed,” said Dr. Kevin Walter, a WIAA medical advisor, told the board before the discussion.

There are many unanswered questions about social distancing while competing, cleaning equipment and potential requirements to wear masks while competing, he said. While it is difficult to predict a week in advance much less months, Walter is optimistic for the next academic year.

“We hold out hope that fall sports will be back (on schedule),” Walter said.