In the end, the decision about what to do with spring high school sports seasons shortened by the spread of COVID-19 was wholly out of the hands of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Early Monday morning Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the cessation of all on-campus learning at the state’s schools through the spring semester.
This decision includes all school-sponsored extracurricular sports and activities. As such, the remainder of the AIA spring season and championships have been cancelled.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance for all of our member schools, students and coaches,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines. “We know this decision was a hard one, but one that was necessary to assist in the well-being of everyone across Arizona. We hope everyone stays healthy and focused on what the next chapter will bring.”
AIA sports at all levels are cancelled for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, all activities are cancelled, including official esports competitions. Esports teams may continue to compete in scrimmage mode only via PlayVS.
The 2020 AIA Champions Gala is still scheduled to take place, however it will only be done through a virtual platform. Until details of the event are finalized, school administrators and coaches can continue to nominate their student-athletes through April 3 at http://aiaonline.org/awards/nomination-forms.
“We really feel for everyone involved with our schools,” AIA Executive Board President Jeannine Brandel added. “So many have worked very hard for their chance to win a state championship, especially this year’s seniors. But we encourage you to still be students and to still be athletes. Strive to better yourselves during this time.”
AIA administrators will continue to be available for the remainder of the school year. With most staff working virtually, please allow time for responses to any inquiries.
No AIA meeting agenda item has been scheduled in April for discussing summer practices or fall games. But this decision gives the association time to consider more data, consult with state and school officials, and plan.
"It’s too early to start planning for summer or fall activities. Right now every sport is officially out of season, and all coaches and athletes must follow the rules in the AIA handbook when it deals with out of season issues," AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky stated in an email. "In the near future the AIA will have many phone calls with state agencies about educational plans going forward and conference committees for where we stand as it pertains to athletics. With all of this happening today, there isn’t a timetable yet on what the AIA’s next steps are and what meetings will be planned because of it."