The high school fall sports season will go on as planned while an alternative season will be squeezed in between the winter and spring seasons after the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted unanimously Friday to approve the measure.
Individual schools have until Sept. 1 to indicate if they will adopt the alternative fall season, which would run for seven weeks beginning in February for some sports and in March for others.
Either alternative is allowed no matter whether school districts adopt a distance learning policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-school education or a hybrid model.
Teams who are unable to start in the fall or are unable to complete 50 percent of the fall season are eligible to participate in the modified spring season.
In an email, Superior High School activities director Ella Olson said her school expects to make a decision next week.
“It is important for me to talk to all coaches, athletes and administration to get on the same page,” Olson wrote. “Receiving a schedule today from the WIAA was very important. It gives us options to have a safe season for all fall sports.”
Brian Smith, Northwestern High School's AD, said the Tigers will play in the fall against only Heart O'North Conference opponents.
No matter what schools choose, the winter sports season will be modified as well. The winter season will be trimmed by three weeks — though the number of regular-season contests are not being cut — and the spring season will be shortened by two weeks.
Starting dates for the traditional fall season, which were determined at a Board of Control meeting in July, were not changed. Low-risk sports (cross country, girls golf, girls swimming and girls tennis) can start practice Monday, while high-risk sports (football, volleyball and boys soccer) can begin Sept. 7.
Football games can take place beginning Sept. 23 and run through the state playoffs Nov. 17.
There will be no state tournament held for the alternative fall season next spring.
Wisconsin winter sports will begin the week of Nov. 16, with wrestling and basketball starting up one week later.
The girls basketball state tournament will be held the week of Feb. 22, followed a week later by the boys state tournament.
The spring sports season will be condensed on the calendar as well, though the WIAA is not requiring a reduction in games played. Baseball and softball state tournaments will conclude the week of June 14.
This article was updated with an additional point of information from the WIAA at 7:55 p.m. on Aug. 14. It was originally posted at 2:30 p.m.