The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted 8-3 Thursday to conduct the fall sports season with a delayed start due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The sports of girls golf, tennis and swimming and boys and girls cross country will be permitted to begin practicing with additional protocols beginning Monday, Aug. 17. The earliest practice date for football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball will be Monday, Sept. 7.
"We were expecting this today and we got it," Northwestern football coach Jovin Kroll said. "Ultimately, we're happy there is a season. We like losing the uncertainty of not knowing what was ahead of us, so we do appreciate having a start date."
The earliest competition dates are Aug. 20 for girls golf, Aug. 21 for girls tennis and Aug. 25 for cross country and girls swimming. The earliest competition dates for boys soccer and boys and girls volleyball are Sept. 15. The earliest competition date for football will be Wednesday, Sept. 23, if the first practice is conducted Sept. 7.
"We're not thrilled that we have to wait another extra month and change to start the season but overall we understand there's a lot of local decisions that have to be made as far as our scheduling goes and if there's a tournament series or not, but we are excited," Kroll said.
The end of the fall sports season remains unchanged, but the board said the season may or may not end with a traditional tournament. The length and timeframe for any tournaments will be determined in the coming days.
“Because of the board’s action, while they can’t make any guarantees that things will work out as we plan them, they have given us the opportunity to at least hope and work in that direction,” WIAA executive director Dave Anderson said in a release. “We understand this decision will make some happy and others disappointed, but we will do our best to deliver to our membership what they have directed us to do.”
This article was updated at 12:58 a.m. on July 25 with comments from Northwestern football coach Jovin Kroll. It was originally posted at 6:27 p.m. on July 24.